Jul 2, 2014 / Weather & Climate

Ocean upwelling becoming more intense with a changing climate

Our Washington coastline is one of the most prolific and productive in the world, teeming with abundant plant and animal life. In fact, much of entire U.S. west coast is the same, and we can largely thank a strong upwelling system for driving this bounty. New research published in Science has shown that upwelling in the eastern boundary current systems – meaning, the eastern edges of ocean basins across the globe where winds, currents, and geological formations create a prime environment for upwelling – has increased globally over the past 60 years. 
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Jun 23, 2014 / Geology, M9

Scientists ready to study magma formation beneath Mount St. Helens

University and government scientists are embarking on a collaborative research expedition to improve volcanic eruption forecasting by learning more about how a deep-underground feeder system creates and supplies magma to Mount St. Helens. They hope the research will produce science that will lead to better understanding of eruptions, which in turn could lead to greater public safety.
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Jun 8, 2014 / Geology

Meet Kate Allstadt, self-described “present-day geologist”

What would you do in a big earthquake? Do you know how your neighborhood would fare? Would the ground beneath your house hold firm, or turn into liquid, or break loose in a landslide? If you had a few seconds or minutes warning, how would you prepare knowing a devastating earthquake was about to be unleashed?
In the wake of the nearby 530 Landslide, these are the kinds of questions researchers like Kate Allstadt ask with increasing urgency. 
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May 11, 2014 / Weather & Climate, Water

West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse is under way

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which holds enough water to raise global seas by several feet, is thinning. Ian Joughin and other University of Washington researchers used detailed topography maps and computer modeling to show that the collapse appears to have already begun. The Thwaites Glacier will likely disappear in a matter of centuries, researchers say, raising sea level by nearly 2 feet. 
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May 5, 2014 / Weather & Climate

UW Climate Impacts Group plays major role in newest National Climate Assessment

The Obama Administration released the third National Climate Assessment, Climate Change Impacts in the United States, on May 6.  Amy Snover, director of the Climate Impacts Group and assistant dean for applied research at the College of the Environment, served as a co-convening lead author of the assessment; additionally, the chapter focused on the Northwest drew heavily from the Climate Impact Group’s body of research, including the 2009 Washington Climate Change Impacts Assessment. 
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Mar 31, 2014 / Geology

UW experts part of technical team investigating Snohomish County mudslide

A national team co-led by a University of Washington geotechnical engineer will investigate what caused the March 22 mudslide in Snohomish County and what effects the disaster had on the nearby residential communities. The Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association is mobilizing to collect information about the landslide that occurred on a steep slope above the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River near Oso, Wash., more than a week ago, killing more than 20 people with 30 still missing. 
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Mar 23, 2014 / Geology

David Montgomery talks to KUOW about the Oso landslide

On Saturday March 22, a powerful landslide occurred above the Stillaguamish River near the town of Oso in western Washington. David Montgomery, professor of Earth and space sciences, talks to Ashley Ahearn at KUOW about what causes such slides to occur. Listen to the story on KUOW.
Since this report, Montgomery has shared his expertise through numerous other media outlets, including:
Seattle Times Op-Ed: Map the runout risk for landslides like Oso
New York Times: In a State Known for Landslides, a Deadly Mix of Loose Sediments and Heavy Rain
KUOW: Geological Circumstances Behind Washington Mudslide
PBS NewsHour: Washington state mudslide conditions present ‘nightmare scenario’ for rescue team, says geologist
Read more at UW Today 
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Jan 16, 2014 / Geology, M9

UW seismologists expand stadium monitoring for NFC championship game

The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network installed a third seismograph at CenturyLink Field this week in the wake of the Seattle Seahawks win over the New Orleans Saints last weekend that provided a trial by fire of the network’s website and new monitoring tools. Before last weekend’s game, network scientists set up two near real-time seismic monitors at CenturyLink to augment data from a third seismograph about a block away. 
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