Finding faults — and the potential dangers they pose

This scenario of a magnitude 7.2 quake on the Seattle Fault shows the schools that might suffer damage for use in community planning.
This scenario of a magnitude 7.2 quake on the Seattle Fault shows the schools that might suffer damage for use in community planning.

Living in Washington means living with the danger of geologic hazards. The best way to handle that is to know what your work, house and neighborhood face.

As seen in the hubbub around last summer’s New Yorker article about the dangers of a Cascadia quake and in this month’s Kitsap Sun piece about the Seattle Fault, communities around Washington are thinking more and more about how to best be prepared to respond when earthquakes hit.

That’s where DNR comes in.

Our Division of Geology and Earth Resources houses more information than anywhere else about the damages that can stem from earthquakes, tsunamis, and the many other geologic hazards that come with Washington’s dynamic landscape.

DNR geologists have compiled and mapped models of seismic scenarios, giving communities information about how geologic events could impact their schools, hospitals, roads and homes.

Sixth-grade students at Lackamas Elementary School in Yelm, Thurston County, recently helped researchers measure the way seismic waves move through soil by literally jumping into the work. (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times)
Sixth-grade students at Lackamas Elementary School in Yelm, Thurston County, recently helped researchers measure the way seismic waves move through soil by literally jumping into the work. (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times)

Hazard seismologists, as written about in this Seattle Times story, are helping schools determine how their buildings would react to quakes, allowing them to consider options for retrofitting or rebuilding.

We’ve mapped model tsunamis to show what communities might be inundated after a Cascadia quake, identified evacuation routes, and helped communities without high ground that could provide refuge create higher ground of their own.

You can also see how an earthquake might shake your community’s soil on our liquefaction susceptibility maps.

Want to find the best evacuation routes for your community? Our Geologic Information Portal has a tsunami layer that shows tsunami hazard zones, evacuation routes, and assembly areas. Use the address locator tool to find evacuation routes and assembly areas near your home, school or workplace.

 

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