20 Years Since the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake: Experiences from the Washington Geological Survey

It was a typical Wednesday in late February in the southern Puget Lowland. It was a mild day, not too cloudy, and by 10:50 a.m. the temperatures were in the mid-40s. Eric Schuster, a geologist with the Washington Geological Survey, was on the first floor of his downtown office in Olympia. He was looking in […]

New Geologic Mapping Published!

We’re pleased to announce the release of two new geologic maps! Geologic map of the Ellensburg North and Southern Half of the Reecer Canyon 7.5-minute quadrangles, Kittitas County, Washington Abstract: New geological and geophysical investigations of the Ellensburg North and Reecer Canyon quadrangles characterize geologic structures of the northwestern Yakima fold and thrust belt and […]

Post-wildfire geologic hazards

The year 2020 has won the award for worst fire season of the decade, and it isn’t over. But even as the fires cease and the final embers crumble, there may be another natural disaster on the horizon: wildfire-associated landslides. Washingtonians who live on or below hillsides—especially in areas impacted by recent wildfires—should be aware […]

New Tsunami Simulation Videos for Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay

To help residents of Washington’s coastline prepare for the next tsunami, we have released a series of new simulation videos. These simulations show tsunami inundation (extent and depth of on-land flooding) and velocity (wave speed) in Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay following a modeled Cascadia M9.0 earthquake and resultant tsunami. The videos provide an estimate […]

Preserving notes of geologists past

Since the beginning of civilization, geologists have stared at rock outcrops, analyzing and examining them and then scribbling their observations in little notebooks. From Aristotle, the Greek philosopher who was the first to speculate on record about the slowness of geologic processes, to Pliny the Younger, who wrote extensive letters regarding the eruption of Mount […]