We first blogged about the Seismic Scenarios Catalog on its public release at the end of October 2012. It is an interactive (GIS-based) mapping tool designed to provide data to emergency managers and planners who wish to visualize potential impacts of various seismic events to critical infrastructure and population bases in their regions. The catalog is a compilation of results from 20 scenario models run using FEMA’s Hazards United States (HAZUS) software program and is based on reasonable estimates of the most serious earthquake hazards to Washington State.
Unsurprisingly, we highlight Mount St. Helens for our May Image of the Month. May 18 is the anniversary of its violent 1980 eruption. This image was taken at sunrise during a September 2012 thermal and mineral spring geothermal sampling trip conducted at the Pumice Plain and Breach areas on the north flank of the volcano. Photo courtesy of Pete Stelling (Western Washington University).
DGER mapping geologist Trevor Contreras will address the Puget Lobe Chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute on May 6, giving a talk titled “A Closer Examination of Hood Canal and the Puget Lowland.”
I will be talking about some of the important findings from five years of geological mapping along Hood Canal. Hood Canal is a glacially carved fiord along the eastern margin of the Olympic Mountains. Geologists from the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Earth Resources, are mapping the deposits around Hood Canal for a variety of applications. Using modern mapping techniques, such as handheld computers with various imagery of the area, provides for a new understanding of the area and its complex history.
Trevor’s talk will be free and open to the public, so please feel free to attend!
Trevor Contreras, mapping geologist for the Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources. Photo courtesy of T. Contreras.
Location: Edmonds Senior Center, on the waterfront in Edmonds, WA. It is right on the waterfront in Edmonds, at 220 Railroad Ave. between Main and Dayton streets, a short distance south of the Kingston ferry dock and directly across the street from the AmTrak station. There is ample off-street parking, and there is elevator access to the second-floor meeting room.
Starting May 1, 2013 the Washington Geology Library will be open to the public Monday-Thursday 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, closed on Fridays. The library is located on the first floor of the Natural Resources Building (NRB) in Olympia, across the hallway from the Division of Geology and Earth Resources.
We are celebrating Earth Day by announcing our new WA State geology Google Earth overlays! Have you ever wished you could view the surface geology information that we offer on our portal as a Google Earth overlay? Now you can! We have generated 39 .kmz files (one per county) that allow the user to visualize simplified versions of our 1:100,000 kilometer-scale surface geology maps in the Google Earth environment. Users can take advantage of functionality native to the Google Earth program, such as terrain generation (pseudo-3D visualization), overlays, and transparency, while using place markers and other Google Earth features to which they are accustomed. The overlays provide geologic information such as age of rock units, presence of major faults, and basic lithology, giving users the ability to observe Washington geology and how it interacts with land features.
Screen shot of King County .kmz file showing 100K-scale surface geology draped on the Google Earth viewer’s pseudo-3D terrain.
To download our Google Earth surface geology overlays and to get further information on how to use them, please visit our GIS data webpage and scroll down to “Google Earth 1:100,000 Scale Surface Geology 3D Overlays” at the bottom of the page.
The Geology Library will open its doors to parents and kids, with special events from 9-11 AM. According to librarian Stephanie Earls, “We’ll have various rock samples to view, handouts about various geologic processes, and may also play some educational videos while the kids are here. Then we will send the kids home with a few samples to add to or start their own rock collections.”
Sounds like a great time, so mark your calendars! Please contact Stephanie for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org, (360) 902-1473.
Thanks to our hazards geologists and landslide experts, Isabelle Sarikhan and Stephen Slaughter, we were able to bring you detailed pictures (including this month’s photo) and information on this large Whidbey Island landslide event immediately after its occurrence on March 27, 2013! As we blogged last week, the hazards team released a Quick Report on March 28 detailing their initial on-site investigation of the Ledgewood-Bonair (LB) Landslide. The report suggests that the LB event may be a reactivation of a portion of a larger, prehistoric (~11,000 years old) landslide complex, which extends approximately 1.5 miles along the Whidbey Island coastline. According to the report, “the dimensions of the [LB] landslide are approximately 1100 feet long (measured parallel to the shoreline) and about 300 feet into Puget Sound. Initial estimations place the volume of material mobilized as great as 200,000 cubic yards (~40,000 dump truck loads).”
To see more images of the LB Landslide click here to visit the DNR Flickr site.