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Brian Atwater, U.S. Geological Survey, emeritus and University of Washington

Sewage treatment and a medieval tsunami in Seattle

Thursday, October 5, 2017 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Brian Atwater, U.S. Geological Survey, emeritus and University of Washington

"Sewage treatment and a medieval tsunami in Seattle"

In the early 1990s, a clean-water project incidentally clarified earthquake hazards from the Seattle Fault. The project was spurred by a national mandate to reduce municipal pollution. One-half billion dollars was spent on upgrading and expanding Metro's West Point Treatment Plant, nine kilometers west of the UW campus. The plant today treats wastewater from one-third of the population of King County. During the upgrade and expansion a quarter century ago, excavations below sea level opened windows into thousands of years of Puget Sound history. Earth scientists, as guests, were allowed to survey the excavation walls. The walls exposed evidence for abrupt lowering of land, a tsunami, and liquefaction, all probably caused by seismic slip on the Seattle Fault. The subsidence and tsunami were dated to the same several months as landslides into Lake Washington, and to sometime between the years 900 and 930 CE.


OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center
Guin Library Seminar Room
2030 SE Marine Science Drive
Newport
OR
Bill Chadwick
7-0179
bill.chadwick at oregonstate.edu
Hatfield Marine Sci Ctr
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