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November 2012

What is Washington State Geology News?
This is an informal newsletter containing distilled snippets detailing activities of the Washington State Geological Survey (a.k.a. Washington Department of Natural Resources Division of Geology and Earth Resources) and highlighting our recent endeavors.

The newsletter is in a monthly format, but is
intended to remind subscribers to follow our weblog, www.washingtonstategeology.wordpress.com, which is updated frequently.

November Geology Image of the Month-outcrop at Dabob Bay
The November image of the month was submitted by DNR geologist, Trevor Contreras, and his team. The Dabob Bay location is in the Seabeck quadrangle, that they have recently mapped. Trevor is excited about their discovery of a outcrop with dramatic faulting and fold structures. He tells us...

"The sediment is thought to be about 100,000 years old, suggesting the faulting is geologically young. The fault planes parallel a magnetic field anomaly that runs through the bay, suggesting this structure is likely fault related. The fault planes we measured generally strike north 30 degrees west and dip to the NE 28 degrees.  We will continue studying the fault and analyze samples to better constrain the age of the faulting with the goal of learning how it fits into the overall tectonics and geological hazards of the Puget Lowland."

Kudos to Trevor and his team!
Dabob Bay outcrop
Folded/faulted sediment outcrop in Dabob Bay, Seabeck quadrangle.


WA Geological Survey hosts a pair of interactive hazard sites:
Landslide Forecast Website

A test project by DNR and NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) is raising awareness of landslide hazards, particularly ones that occur because of heavy and/or prolonged periods of rain. Our online beta (test) map combines recent rainfall measurements from NWS rain gauges with information about the local soils and slide history. The result is a county-wide risk level rating. The map is not intended to predict landslides at any particular time or location; it only rates the overall risk that one might occur based on the amount of rain that has just fallen.

The map is still in its testing phase, but we have placed it on the DNR website so you can be better informed.  

Landslide Forecast site  

 Take a look and see how your county rates now.

Seismic Scenarios Catalog Website
On Oct. 31, we launched the Seismic Scenarios Catalog, hosted through WADNR in a GIS environment. The catalog is a compilation of results from 20 scenario models run using FEMA's Hazards United States (HAZUS) software program and is based on reasonable estimates of the most serious earthquake hazards to Washington State. Each scenario includes a shaking intensity map to convey how widely felt the particular seismic event is projected to be, and many additional data layers, detailing the demographics of affected regions and impacts to infrastructure (for example, damage to hospitals and schools). The purpose of the Seismic Scenario Catalog is to assist managers and emergency planners in visualizing potential impacts of various seismic events to their regions. The Seismic Scenario Catalog represents a multi-agency collaboration, including DNR, EMD, Western Washington University (WWU), Huxley College of the Environment, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), US Geological Survey (USGS) and URS Corporation. We hope to update and improve the catalog over time.

Launch the Seismic Scenarios Catalog by visiting our geology portal menu page and clicking on the Seismic Scenarios Catalog icon.

Seismic Scenario Catalog website screenshot 

November events
  • November 14 is GIS Day! Washington Geological Survey Scientists Tim Walsh, Trevor Contreras, Eric Schuster, and Meredith Payne will be giving presentations demonstrating how GIS (geographic information systems) is integral and informative to their work.  Geology presentations will commence at 1:00 PM at the State Capitol building, but we will also have a geologic map gallery set up in the rotunda, and other agencies will be hosting GIS-themed activities and talks throughout the day. This should prove to be a high-energy event!   

For more information, visit http://geography.wa.gov/GeospatialPortal/GISDayPresentationSchedule_2012_updated.pdf  


We hope you enjoy this and future postings!

Washington Geological Survey

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Trevor Contreras at Dabob Bay outcrop
WA Geological Survey Geologist, Trevor Contreras, stands in front of the outcrop he discovered in Dabob Bay.

GIS Day 2012 Agenda
GIS Day 2012 flyer
Washington State Department of Natural Resources | 360-902-1000 | bob.redling@dnr.wa.gov | http://www.dnr.wa.gov
1111 Washington St. SE
Olympia, WA 98501

Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved.