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. 
Read more

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. 
Read more

Mar 16, 2015 / Weather & Climate

UW scientist leads multinational study on the future of Arctic marine mammals

Aquatic and Fishery Sciences’ Kristin Laidre and a team from across the globe just published their findings on what the future looks like for Arctic marine mammals, whose fragile habitats are shifting as a result of sea ice loss and warming temperatures. Their recent study, published in Conservation Biology, found that reductions in sea ice cover are “profound” and that the Arctic’s traditionally short, cool summers are growing longer in most regions by five to 10 weeks. 
Read more

Mar 15, 2015 / Weather & Climate

Kill two birds with one dead tree? Beetle-killed pines could fuel machines instead of fires

Across western North America you can see them: hills blanketed with swaths of red and gray trees. These dead and dying stands of pine, aspen, and fir, totaling around 42 million acres—roughly the size of the state of Washington—are victims of bark beetles. And the dry, decaying trees that the beetles leave in their wake are not just eyesores; they also fuel hotter and larger wildfires. 
Read more

UW’s Friday Harbor Labs prove to be a prime spot to study ocean acidification

For more than a century, scientists at UW have utilized Friday Harbor Laboratories’ unique location on the shores of the Puget Sound to study a variety of marine species. With the debut of the Ocean Acidification Environmental Laboratory in 2011, research at Friday Harbor Labs expanded into monitoring the water’s pH and dissolved oxygen levels, total alkalinity, effects of ocean acidification, and strategies for adaptation. 
Read more

Washington Sea Grant explores relative sea-level rise to prepare Pacific Coast communities

Washington Sea Grant, a unit in the College of the Environment, works to restore and protect marine environments through addressing important issues, providing better tools for marine management, and supporting strategic partnerships within the marine community. Coastal hazards specialist and resident geologist Ian Miller embodies this approach, and is studying changes in local sea level over time in order to help coastal communities plan for rising seas along their shores. 
Read more

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. 
Read more

Climate Impact Group’s director recognized as White House Champion of Change

Amy Snover, director of the Climate Impacts Group at the College of the Environment, has been named a White House Champion of Change. The Champions of Change program celebrates Americans who are doing extraordinary things in their community, and for Snover it focuses on her work to enhance climate education and literacy in classrooms and communities across the country. She traveled to the White House for a ceremony on February 9th, and wrote a blog post for the honor titled Building Climate Resilience through Action Today. 
Read more

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. 
Read more

Jan 14, 2015 / Weather & Climate

Could brighter clouds offset warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions?

Atmospheric Sciences’ Tom Ackerman and Rob Wood recently contributed to a proposal that would test the effectiveness of spraying sea-salt particles into marine clouds in order to make them brighter. According to The Economist, cloud physicist John Latham hypothesized that brighter clouds could cool the Earth enough to compensate for increased warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions in 1990. Several decades later and with the help of the two UW scientists, field tests on the subject could come to fruition. 
Read more
Back to Top