“Earth-cake” caps Earth Sciences Week celebration

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 week by Gov. Jay Inslee, DNR and earth scientists around the world are celebrating the geologic maps that show the rich history under our feet.

DNR’s Division of Geology and Earth Resources has more maps about Washington’s geology than anyone else.

From the minerals on the surface, to those underground, you can learn in 3D how Washington’s land has evolved and is evolving. Our geologic information portal allows you to create, save, and print custom geologic maps for almost any location in the state. You can even search by street address if you want. You also can download map data for use in a geographic information system (GIS) from the portal, which features several ‘pre-loaded’ maps focusing on landslides, tsunami evacuation, geothermal resources, subsurface geology, Mount Rainier lahar hazards and more.

Washington State Geologic Portal
The Washington State Geologic Portal is an online tool to locate geologic features and resources.

Our hazard maps show areas in Washington susceptible to soil liquefaction, tsunami inundation and other hazards. These maps help planners, builders and citizens to better understand the potential risks that earthquakes may post to buildings, roads, utilities and other human-constructed features.

Another map — the online Shallow Landslide Hazard Map shows the latest risk levels for mudslide by county. Still in beta testing but available to view, this online map is a joint project between DNR, the National Weather Service/NOAA.

So dig in (sorry) to our geologic maps and help celebrate the earth forces that made Washington the great state it is today.

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