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L

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Ancient Volcano Holds Clues to Earth's Deeper Mysteries

In a landscape of rolling hills and flat cow fields, Mole Hill Mountain is a peculiar sight. Jutting severely above the west Virginia countryside, it is an outlier; it is Harrisonburg's sore thumb.
Mole Hill is the remnant of an ancient volcano, and as such, has baffled geologists for decades.

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L

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Elizabeth Johnson didn't know what she was going to do with herself when she moved to Harrisonburg two years ago to teach geology at JMU. She had just spent years studying volcanic activity in the Northwest, home to volcanoes like Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens. But there were no volcanoes in the Shenandoah Valley - or so she thought.
To her surprise, Johnson, an assistant professor of geology and environmental science, discovered that Mole Hill, a local landmark just a few miles from campus, was volcanic. That led her to seek permission from a landowner to study Mole Hill with students in her volcanoes class.

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