Geologists working to step up tsunami mapping

Washington faces the second highest risk from earthquakes, and one of the highest for tsunamis in the nation, yet remains the only west coast state that does not have an inventory of the seismic hazard for critical infrastructure.

Thanks to the state Legislature this year, DNR has more resources to address that gap. We received funding in the supplemental state budget to identify geologic hazards and produce information you and our communities can use to be ready.

IMG_2232DNR received $1.2 million to study the seismic stability of 220 schools and five fire stations, and to work with engineers from the University of Washington and private firms to help provide plans to make those critical buildings more stable during seismic events.

We also received an appropriation for $367,000 to hire more geologists to study and map tsunami hazards along the Washington coast, which is currently only about half-mapped.

All this will help communities be more resilient for the next tsunami, whether that’s from a Cascadia subduction event or less famous faults.

DNR holds scenarios developed to show how seismic forces could impact all of Washington’s communities, from Aberdeen to Zillah.

map2Our geologists just published new maps to show the tsunami risks to southwest Washington from a 2,500-year Cascadia subduction zone earthquake so people along the coast can identify evacuation routes before the quake and tsunami hits.

The first tip is to be ready. Have plans for what to do when earthquakes or tsunamis happen.

180321_tsunami-alert-infographicIn addition to developing plans to prepare for natural disasters like our friends at Washington Emergency Management advise, you can know more about what these geologic hazards likely mean for your neighborhood, thanks to the hard work of our geologists.

Aberdeen Seismic ScenarioYou can view scenarios for the different seismic hazards Washington faces on our seismic hazard catalog.

You can find out more about the risks Washington’s active geology present to you and your loved ones with the scenario catalog or by the hundreds of reports on Washington geology filed in the Washington Geology Library. Those reports can also be accessed online through our new publications catalog.

You can learn more by talking with our geologists and our colleagues at EMD, the National Weather Service, the University of Washington and local emergency management officials at our Tsunami Roadshow April 10-13.

Public presentations will be:

  • 1 p.m., Tuesday, April 10 at Raymond Timberland Library,507 Duryea St. in Raymond
  • 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 10, Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum 115 Lake Street SE, in Ilwaco.
  • 12 p.m., Wednesday, April 11 at the Ocosta Junior-Senior High School Library, 2580 Montesano St, Westport;
  • 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 11 at the Ocean Shores Convention Center, 120 W. Chance a La Mer NW, Ocean Shores.
  • 11 a.m., Friday, April 13 at the J-47 Pirate Union Building (PUB) on Peninsula College, 1502 E Lauridsen Blvd, Port Angeles
  • 6:30 p.m., Friday, April 13 at Chimacum High School auditorium, 91 West Valley Rd., Chimacum.