47 posts in Geology

Jul 29, 2015 / Geology, M9

Earthquake early warning system funding awarded to UW, West Coast universities

A recent article published by The New Yorker has resulted in widespread talks and panic about the risk of a mega-earthquake off the Pacific Northwest coast. While the seismic hazard is real, the article’s tone may have been overly fatalistic and didn’t highlight earthquake preparedness tools that are now being developed. The U.S. Geological Survey announced today that $5 million will go to the University of Washington and three other institutions to help transition the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system to a public-facing tool. 
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Jul 14, 2015 / Geology

College of the Environment students, researchers at sea to learn more about deep-sea volcano eruption

When the Axial Seamount, an underwater volcano, erupted off the coast of Oregon in April, researchers knew within minutes that something spectacular was happening more than 300 miles offshore. Precision hardware installed by the University of Washington last summer let scientists see its effects almost instantly from shore.­­ A team of researchers, engineers and students is now at sea working t­o maintain that equipment and assess the volcano’s aftermath. 
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Jul 7, 2015 / Geology

UW oceanographers wire up an undersea volcano to study Earth’s most extreme environment

Several hundred miles off the coast of Oregon and Washington, there’s an undersea volcano known as Axial Seamount. Thanks to a set of high-tech instruments installed last summer by a team of scientists, many from the College of the Environment, the deep sea is online and oceanographers were able to observe an eruption of the Axial Volcano in April 2015. PBS NewsHour’s Hari Sreenivasan recently spoke with the School of Oceanography‘s John Delaney and Debbie Kelley about their team’s deep sea observatory, including a network of sensors, moorings, and cameras that collect troves of new information about this underwater world. 
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May 18, 2015 / Geology

UW’s Deborah Kelley publishes atlas of seafloor volcanoes and deep-ocean life

A University of Washington oceanographer has helped create the first photographic atlas of the ocean floor. “Discovering the Deep: A Photographic Atlas of the Seafloor and Ocean Crust” (Cambridge University Press, 2015) was almost a decade in the making and contains more than 500 original illustrations and color photos, and access to online educational resources and high-definition videos.
Its pages contain a history of deep-sea science and a global tour of the volcanoes, hot springs, rocks and animals that exist in extreme environments in the ocean depths. 
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Apr 30, 2015 / Geology

Seafloor sensors record possible eruption of underwater volcano

Thanks to a set of high-tech instruments installed last summer by a team of scientists, many at the College of the Environment, the deep sea is online and scientists were able to observe the eruption of the Axial Volcano on April 23. About 300 miles offshore from Astoria, Oregon, and one mile deep, the data collected flowed back to the land at the speed of light through fiber optic cable. 
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Apr 26, 2015 / Geology, M9

Tidal tugs on Teflon faults drive slow-slipping earthquakes

Unknown to most people, the Pacific Northwest experiences a magnitude-6.6 earthquake about once a year. The reason nobody notices is that the movement happens slowly and deep underground, in a part of the fault whose behavior, known as slow-slip, was only recently discovered.
A University of Washington seismologist who studies slow-slip quakes has looked at how they respond to tidal forces from celestial bodies and used the result to make a first direct calculation of friction deep on the fault. 
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Mar 19, 2015 / Geology

A year later, UW geologist reflects on Oso and the need for better application of landslide science

Earth and Space Sciences’ David Montgomery is one of many University of Washington researchers who have been working to develop and analyze critical data in the aftermath of last year’s landslide in Oso. March 22, 2015 marked one year since the largest recorded landslide in U.S. history decimated a western Washington community and killed 43 people. In the wake of that disaster, Montgomery has some thoughts about how to make landslides less deadly. 
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Feb 10, 2015 / Geology, M9

UW researchers test Washington’s first-ever earthquake detection system

Earth and Space Sciences’ John Vidale, Paul Bodin, and the University of Washington-based Pacific Northwest Seismic Network team, will soon begin testing the region’s first early warning system for incoming earthquakes. Originally developed for use in California, the system will create an automated alert giving people anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute’s warning before an earthquake’s S waves begin to shake the ground. 
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Jan 27, 2015 / Geology, M9

UW researchers prep for the next Cascadia megaquake

Earth and Space Sciences’ Frank Gonzalez, John Vidale, and Arthur Frankel, along with other scientists from across the University of Washington, are teaming up to better prepare our region for the next massive megaquake off the Pacific Northwest coast. Their efforts include designing the first tsunami evacuation structure in the United States, development of a campus-wide research project on major earthquakes, and the upcoming rollout of early earthquake alerts. 
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Jan 6, 2015 / Geology, M9

How the ‘Beast Quake’ is helping scientists track real earthquakes

It’s not just the football players who have spent a year training. University of Washington seismologists will again be monitoring the ground-shaking cheers of Seahawks fans, this year with a bigger team, better technology and faster response times. Scientists with the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network will install instruments this Thursday to provide real-time monitoring of the stadium’s movement during the 2015 NFL playoffs. 
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