Cascades Volcano Observatory watches more than NW

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VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) -- The Cascades Volcano Observatory was created because of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, but the Vancouver lab does more than monitor threatening mountains in Washington and Oregon.

Experts from the observatory have recently been dispatched to volcanoes in Indonesia and Columbia. The lab also studies how sediments move through rivers.

The Columbian reports (http://is.gd/OQHj7O ) it's one of only five volcanic observatories operated by the U. S. Geological Survey. It has a staff of 55.

Their main job remains monitoring seismic activity at volcanoes. Five are considered active in Washington: Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker and Glacier Peak.

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Information from: The Columbian, http://www.columbian.com