50 posts in Geology

Nov 27, 2017 / Geology

Less life: Limited phosphorus recycling suppressed early Earth’s biosphere

The amount of biomass — life — in Earth’s ancient oceans may have been limited due to low recycling of the key nutrient phosphorus, according to new research by the University of Washington and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
The research, published online Nov. 22 in the journal Science Advances, also comments on the role of volcanism in supporting Earth’s early biosphere — and may even apply to the search for life on other worlds.  
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Oct 22, 2017 / Geology, M9

50 simulations show how a 9.0 Cascadia earthquake could play out

We know the “really big one” is coming. But what exactly is going to happen in cities along the coast?
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Sep 20, 2017 / Geology, M9

Hacking a pressure sensor to track gradual motion along marine faults

Deep below the ocean’s surface, shielded from satellite signals, the gradual movement of the seafloor — including along faults that can unleash deadly earthquakes and tsunamis — goes largely undetected. As a result, we know distressingly little about motion along the fault that lies just off the Pacific Northwest coast.
University of Washington oceanographers are working with a local company to develop a simple new technique that could track seafloor movement in earthquake-prone coastal areas. 
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Sep 10, 2017 / Geology, M9

Land-sea experiment will track earthquakes, volcanoes along Alaska Peninsula

The National Science Foundation is funding the largest marine seismic-monitoring effort yet along the Alaska Peninsula, a region with frequent and diverse earthquake and volcanic activity. Involving aircraft and ships, the new Alaska Amphibious Community Seismic Experiment will be led by Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, with partners at the University of Washington and seven other research institutions.
“This effort will really change the information we have at our disposal for understanding the seismic properties of subduction zones,” said Emily Roland, a UW assistant professor of oceanography and one of nine principal investigators on the project. 
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Jun 27, 2017 / Geology, Water, M9

Distant earthquakes can cause underwater landslides

New research finds that large earthquakes can trigger underwater landslides thousands of miles away, weeks or months after the quake occurs.
Researchers analyzing data from ocean-bottom seismometers off the Washington-Oregon coast tied a series of underwater landslides on the Cascadia Subduction Zone to a 2012 magnitude-8.6 earthquake in the Indian Ocean — more than 8,000 miles away. These underwater landslides occurred intermittently for nearly four months after the April earthquake. 
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May 3, 2017 / Geology, M9

UW seismologist John Vidale elected to National Academy of Sciences

John E. Vidale, a University of Washington professor of Earth and space sciences, is among 84 new members and 21 foreign associates elected this week as members of the National Academy of Sciences. Academy members are recognized for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research, according to a news release from the academy.
Vidale studies Earth’s interior, including earthquakes and volcanoes. 
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Apr 10, 2017 / Geology, M9

Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, USGS and partners launch West Coast earthquake early warning system

The U.S. Geological Survey and university, public and private partners held an event April 10 at the University of Washington to introduce the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning program as a unified, West Coast-wide system. The event also introduced the first pilot uses of the earthquake early warning in Washington and Oregon.
The first Pacific Northwest pilot users of the system are Bothell, Wash.-based RH2 Engineering, which will use the alerts to secure municipal water and sewer systems so these structures remain usable after a major quake. 
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Mar 27, 2017 / Geology

Using a method from Wall Street to track slow slipping of Earth’s crust

A researcher at the College’s Department of Earth and Space Sciences is utilizing a Wall Street technique used to monitor stocks to detect slow slip earthquakes.
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‘Black swan’ events strike animal populations

Black swan events are rare and surprising occurrences that happen without notice and often wreak havoc on society. The metaphor has been used to describe banking collapses, devastating earthquakes and other major surprises in financial, social and natural systems.
A new analysis by the University of Washington and Simon Fraser University is the first to document that black swan events also occur in animal populations and usually manifest as massive, unexpected die-offs. 
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Nov 1, 2016 / Geology

New study looks at what lies below Mount St. Helens

The reason for the location of Mount St. Helens is an enigma. The volcano lies farther west than other peaks in the Cascades volcanic arc. Research published this week may begin to explain why.
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