October TsuInfo Now Available


This issue of TsuInfo includes articles on:

Image result for without warning tsunami

A new comic book, Without Warning! Tsunami, is the latest collaboration by TsuInfo partners to bring preparedness messaging to youth. In 2013, Oregon Office of Emergency Management’s Geologic Hazards Program Coordinator Althea Rizzo approached Dark Horse Comics with a proposal. An avid comic book fan herself, Rizzo knew that it was a good way to reach a new target audience. In August 2014, Without Warning was released, telling a story of an Oregon teen who reunites with her family after a major Cascadia earthquake.




Also featured are tsunami project updates, news, newly published research, and upcoming events

Find this month’s issue here:


A copy of this publication is free upon request and is available in print by mail and online at: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/programs-and-services/geology/geologic-hazards/tsunamis/tsuinfo-alert

TSUINFO ALERT IS A BI-MONTHLY newsletter that links scientists, emergency responders, government officials, and community planners to the latest tsunami news and research. This newsletter is published by the Washington Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Earth Resources on behalf of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program, a state/federal partnership funded through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It is made possible by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency via the Washington Military Department, Division of Emergency Management.

Today: ShakeOut. Don’t Freak Out.


More than 1 million people were registered to take part in the “Drop, Cover, and Hold on” exercise of the annual Great ShakeOut Earthquake drill. Thursday October, 20, at 10:20 a.m. Were you one of them?

These drills are a chance to review and update your family’s emergency preparedness plans and supplies. How well you manage the aftermath of a disaster depends greatly on how well you prepare.

Watch the videos below for more information on what to do when an earthquake hits.

Reddit “Ask Us Anything” Session

Have some questions for the experts? DNR geologists, emergency managers, and other experts will be answering your questions on Reddit today from noon to 2 p.m. Here’s a link to last year’s Q and A session.


Emergency Preparedness Resources

Find out what to do before, during, and after an earthquake on our emergency preparedness page.

Emergency Management Division

Check out all the resources provided by the Emergency Management Division



Also check out our previous blog post about moving toward being prepared and not scared!


Newly Published: San Juan Tsunami Inundation Hazard Maps

Tsunami Hazard Maps of the San Juan Islands, WA
—Model Results from a Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake Scenario

Tger_portal_hazards_tile_240.pnghis new publication is part of a collaborative effort to show areas at risk of inundation by tsunamis that are generated from large earthquakes. See other reports and maps on our Tsunami Inundation webpage.

For more on tsunamis check out our Geology Portal. There you can see modeled inundation for many coastal communities. The data behind the new modeling in the San Juan Islands will be added to the portal soon.


Suggested citation:

Walsh, T. J.; Gica, Edison; Arcas, Diego; Titov, V. V.; Eungard, D. W., 2016, Tsunami hazard maps of the San Juan Islands, Washington—Model results from a Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake Scenario: Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources Map Series 2016-01, 4 sheets, scale 1:24,000 and 1:48,000, 9 p. text.


“Earth-cake” caps Earth Sciences Week celebration — Ear to the Ground

All of us in Washington — and all over the world, for that matter — live atop layers of geologic evolution. By knowing more about how our dynamic planet has shifted and moved over millions of years, we can know more about where we all might be headed. To cap Earth Science Week, proclaimed this […]

via “Earth-cake” caps Earth Sciences Week celebration — Ear to the Ground

Earth Science Week 2016


Earth Science Week kicks off Sunday, October 9, 2016, and this year’s theme, chosen by the American Geosciences Institute, is “Our Shared Geoheritage”.

Geoheritage is “the collection of natural wonders, landforms, and resources that have formed over eons and come to this generation to manage, use, and conserve effectively. Geoheritage locations are valued for many reasons, including scientific, economic, ecological, educational, cultural, aesthetic, artistic, and recreational purposes.”ESW_GeoheritagePoster_RESIZED600.jpg

To highlight Washington’s geoheritage, we have chosen to focus on the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail. This is the first-ever National Geologic Trail; it follows major roadways across the state to highlight the impacts of the glacial outburst floods. ger_presentations_esw_2016_584.png

Planned Events

Check out the American Geosciences Institutes calendar of events here!

The Annual Washington Geologic Library’s Earth Science Week Rock Auction will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Geology Library (Rm. 173, Natural Resources Building, Olympia). Funds raised benefit the Friends of the Washington Geology Library to supplement library purchases of books, journals, and educational materials.

In addition, on Friday, October 14, we will be celebrating National Geologic Map Day by hosting an open house with geologic maps on display. Carrie, our resident baker, will once again rock our worlds with some kind of geologically oriented baked good. See her amazing (and delicious) subduction zone cake from two years ago below. Stop by between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.IMG_0676.JPG

Don’t wait for Friday to explore some awesome geologic maps, check out our collection now!

Subsurface Database Update


The Subsurface Database has been updated to include new geotechnical borings and quality water wells. This data is useful to anyone interested in subsurface geology. Lithology, layer thickness, USCS classification, links to documents, and other information can be obtained through the attribute tables. This dataset was also updated on the Subsurface Theme of the Washington Geologic Information Portal. Happy clicking!


Updated citation:

Jeschke, D. A.; Eungard, D. W.; Troost, K. G.; Wisher, A. P, 2016, Subsurface database of Washington State–GIS data: Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources Digital Data Series 11, version 1.2, previously released October, 2015 [http://www.dnr.wa.gov/publications/ger_portal_subsurface_database.zip]

You can find all of our GIS data available for download, along with links to our map services here.

Stay tuned for more exciting changes to this database!

Peering into the earth: Geophysical techniques can find rock for forest roads — Ear to the Ground

Fresh off the stump and replete with water, fresh-cut timber is heavy stuff. A fully loaded logging truck can tip the scales at 68,000 pounds, which is the weight equivalent of approximately 17 average-size cars. To support this kind of weight, forest roads must be built strong with good, hard rock. How hard? Generally, the […]

via Peering into the earth: Geophysical techniques can find rock for forest roads — Ear to the Ground

New Map Poster Available-The Cheney-Palouse Tract of Washington’s Channeled Scablands


A new map poster is available titled The Cheney–Palouse Tract of Washington’s Channeled Scablands. Using elevation data, it highlights a remote portion of the Eastern Washington landscape shaped by catastrophic ice-age floods.

During the last ice age, a lobe of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet formed an ice dam that blocked a major valley in what is now western Montana, creating Glacial Lake Missoula. Between 15,000 and 13,000 years ago the ice began to recede and the lake periodically breached the ice dam. These breaches created an estimated 40 catastrophic floods that flowed westward during this time period. These ice-age floods, also known as the Missoula Floods, swept across what is now eastern Washington and onward to the Pacific Ocean along the Columbia River corridor. The floods scoured the landscape on a massive scale, leaving behind scarred terrain known as the Channeled Scablands. Flood features are so huge, they can be seen from space.

This map shows the topographic evidence of the Missoula Floods on a portion of the Channeled Scablands in eastern Washington known as the Cheney–Palouse scabland tract. Smooth, linear features are former channels of the floods, while the more textured land adjacent to the pathways was higher in elevation, and was thus unaffected by the flooding.

The video above transitions from an aerial photo to the map imagery. To get a better idea of the scale of the floods look at the small crop circles on the left side of the photo and compare them to the scoured flood paths.  These circles are over a half-mile in diameter!  It has been estimated that during the largest flood episodes there was 360 times the amount of water discharge than currently flows out of the Columbia River.

Flooded areas were often scoured down to bedrock, as can be seen east of Sprague Lake and the Karakul Hills. In the Cheney-Palouse scablands region, the former channels are also occupied by dozens of lakes. The largest and deepest scabland lake is Rock Lake in the northeast portion of the map.

In the area adjacent to the flooded channels, much of the landscape is covered in loess (windblown silt). Loess covers the agriculturally productive Palouse region, the area of rolling hills in the southeastern corner of the map.

This poster is available here for download. Check out our Presentation Archive for other cool products!

Landslides and Landforms Database and Portal Update


The Landslides and Landforms database has been updated in order to fix some attribution issues and its appearance on the Geology Portal  has been given a minor make-over.


Updated Citation:

Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources, 2016, Landslides and landforms–GIS data, July 2016: Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources Digital Data Series 12, version 4.2, previously released February 2016. [http://www.dnr.wa.gov/publications/ger_portal_landslides_landforms.zip]

You can find all of our GIS data available for download, along with links to our map services here.




New Data on the Geology Portal

ger_pubs_data_portal_tile_240x170.pngThe Oil and Gas and the Tsunami Evacuation databases have been updated and are now available on the Geology Portal. The datasets can also be downloaded directly from our GIS & Databases webpage.

Updates to the datasets include: addition of new documents for recently abandoned  Jackson Prairie gas storage wells, addition of a new well, Yeti547, and the removal of erroneous tsunami assembly areas in the Aberdeen area.


New Citations:

Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources, 2016, Oil and gas wells–GIS data, July, 2016: Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources, version 3.3, previously released February 2015. [http://www.dnr.wa.gov/publications/ger_portal_oil_gas_wells.zip]

Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources, 2016, Tsunami Evacuation – GIS data, July, 2016: Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources, version 2.1, previously released June 2015. [http://www.dnr.wa.gov/publications/ger_portal_tsunami_evacuation.zip]