Imagine a huge pool of magma as big as half a state! It just might exist. According to a new study, there could possibly be a giant pool of magma under southwestern Washington state.
There are three active volcanoes there in the Cascade Mountains, and some scientists believe that the pool supplies magma to them. They are Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier and Mount Adams.
Those scientists also think that there might be a “super volcano” down under Washington.
If the pool really is magma, it would be the largest amount in one area discovered so far. The discovery is causing quite a stir among scientists, however, because some of them think that the pool is just water.
The scientists that don’t believe that there is magma also don’t think that the three active volcanoes need to be checked again to see how hazardous they are.
The study that found the possible magma pool is to help scientists understand how volcanoes work and predict eruptions better.
The three volcanoes being studied are about 50 miles apart. Each one is supplied by a chamber of magma about 3 miles below the surface of the ground. The new study says that the large pool of magma that supplies those chambers is about 15 miles under the ground!
There are some scientists who are debating whether the theory is correct. They don’t believe it because there are some other studies that don’t support the theory. They also say that there would be evidence of a big magma pool on the surface above it, like vents and hot springs.
For instance, Yellowstone National Park has a super volcano underneath, and there are vents and geysers on the surface there.
All scientists see that there is no evidence for a super volcano, but some say there is evidence for a large pool of magma. More studies will have to be done to determine if the pool of magma exists. In the meantime, share your opinion! Do you think scientists have discovered magma under Washington? Go to For the Curious to take our poll, and to read more science articles!