Mt. Rainier is experiencing an earthquake swarm that hasincluded a 3.2 earthquake a mile beneath the surface, thatis the largest earthquake ever recorded under the mountain.
Volcanologists do not believe that the current earthquakeswarm is being caused by the movement of magma beneath thevolcano, but nevertheless the earthquakes are unusualenough to have caused scientific concern.
Scientists are watching for earthquake swarms close to thevolcano's surface and the seismic signature of fluid movingthrough rocks. Such clues might signal an eruption.
Mt. Rainier is considered the most dangerous of the Cascadevolcanoes, because it is so close to the large metropolitanareas of Seattle and Portland.
There is increasing volcanic unrest in the western UnitedStates, with Mt. St. Helens now active and movements underYellowstone Park that suggest more volcanism. In addition,earthquake swarms in other western areas, asreported byUnknowncountry.com, have been taking place throughout 2004.
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