iMUSH is a four year collaborative research project involving several institutions and supported by the GeoPRISMS and EarthScope Programs of the US National Science Foundation to illuminate the architecture of the greater Mount St. Helens magmatic system from slab to surface.

To determine the architecture of magmatic systems in general, including the extent and characteristics of highly crystalline magma bodies, and to resolve major tectonic controls on volcanism along the Cascade arc, we will use a variety of geophysical imaging techniques (magnetotelluric, high-resolution active source seismic imaging and passive seismic monitoring and imaging) integrated with geochemical-petrological data to image and interpret the crust and upper mantle in the greater Mount St. Helens area.

NOTE:  These pages will evolve as the experiment gets underway.  If anyone find errors, omissions or wants additional material included please send e-mail to

Latest Blog Posts

The permit process

Steve Malone
August 12, 2013
Obtaining geophysical data from literally thousands of sites in the Mount St. Helens (MSH) area means many trips installing and recovering very specialized equipment. While none of it will remain after the experiment and the ground disturbance is minimal the US Forest Service, as the stewart of our lands, has the responsibility to make sure that the land is used wisely with minimal impact. Their permitting process is aimed as just that. The details of this may be little interest to many, but if you want the nitty gritty.......

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iMush magnetotelluric experiment is almost underway

Adam Schultz
June 14, 2013
While the seismologists wait for permits and instruments the magnitotelluric group is almost ready to start collecting some data. Because we plan to collect our data in stages of a subset of sites at a time we can get going even before all sites have been permitted. For details....

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IMUSH - The name and what it is not

Steve Malone
August 29, 2012
These pages are NOT something that either Apple came up with as a new computer gizmo nor a declaration of being a sled-dog racer but rather a short title designed to be catchy and memorable for what we hope will be a very exciting, rewarding and memorable, multidiscipline experiment to Image (or maybe Imagine) Magma Under St. Helens and the region around it. There are lots of technical details in these web pages, but for a very brief and simple explanation.....

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Status Updates

Siting complete but permitting is held up

October 20, 2013

A couple of additional siting trips in late summer determined the details of all but two sites, which are at known spots and can be "sited" at the same time as installation.  Because of the federal government shutdown in October, permits for US Forest Service sites are now delayed and probably will not be ready before spring.  We are also making the final decisions on the details of seismic vault construction and will use the winter for testing these with plans to install a few vaults in early spring to be ready for doing all the installations in early summer.

It is summer and site selection continues

July 23, 2013

In the past week a siting trip was again made to the MSH area with a dozen more locations chosen for the passive monitoring seismic stations.  These sites are mostly to the west of the volcano on private timber company land.  This leaves only about 18 locations out of a total of 60 yet be visited which should be done within a month.  We will then start to construct seismic vaults at the sites for which the permitting process is complete.

Permitting under way

June 11, 2013

After a quiet winter in the iMUSH project, permitting is moving into high gear.  Several meetings and phone conferences with the US Forest Service have taken place to finalize the process of application, review and permit documentation. Preliminary documents for all passive sites on USFS land have been submitted and the USFS is reviewing them for submission to a public comment period.  We are also preparing more documents for public information and education.  Check back soon on this web site.