BSSA tip sheet for August 2010

Pacific NW seismic map becomes more complex: two active faults identified near Olympia

Seismologists have identified potentially active faults near Olympia, Washington State, adding to the number of faults that may be active in the area.

Researchers from the University of Washington and the U.S. Geological Survey collected marine seismic reflection data to explore shallow structures associated with inferred faults in the Tacoma and Olympia areas of Washington State. Seismic reflection profiling, which uses sound waves to look into the Earth in the same way that sonograms do in medical imaging, is a valuable tool for examining faults beneath the surface.

Layers of glacial deposits formed beneath Puget Sound during the last glacial advance and retreat in the past 16,000 years provide a record of recent faulting in the region. This study documents two apparent faults cutting young deposits near Olympia. Because the faults cut through strata that may have been deposited during or after the glacial retreat, the faults appear to have had recent activity and therefore could pose an earthquake hazard to the population of the southern Puget Sound region.

BSSA, volume 100, issue 4: “High-Resolution Seismic Reflection

Imaging of Growth Folding and Shallow Faults Beneath the Southern Puget
Lowland, Washington State” by Curtis R. Clement, Thomas L. Pratt, Mark L. Holmes and Brian L. Sherrod.

Media contact: Thomas L. Pratt, Research Geophysicist, U.S. Geological
Survey and Affiliate Professor, University of Washington; phone: 206-919-8773;
e-mail: [email protected]

For a copy of the paper, contact [email protected]

BSSA Selects New Editor-in-Chief

The Seismological Society of America has named Diane I. Doser, professor of geosciences at University of Texas at El Paso, the new editor-in-chief of The Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA), effective June 1, 2010.

Doser’s research interests include studies of historical pre-1964 and recent earthquakes in south-central, southeast and interior Alaska, and central to northern California. She also applies geophysical techniques to environmental and engineering problems including watershed studies and estimating the quality and quantity of saline and freshwater aquifers. Results of her earthquake studies have helped in producing the next generation of earthquake hazard maps for the Alaska region. Her shallow geophysical studies are helping to assess the structural and stratigraphic controls on groundwater resources of the El Paso area.

BSSA is the premier journal of advanced research in earthquake seismology and related disciplines. The bimonthly journal is composed of scientific papers on the various aspects of seismology, including investigation of specific earthquakes, theoretical and observational studies of seismic waves, inverse methods for determining the structure of the Earth or the dynamics of the earthquake source, seismometry, earthquake hazard and risk estimation, seismotectonics, and earthquake engineering. According to the Thomson Reuters’ Sciencewatch, BSSA published more papers on earthquakes in 2009 than any other journal and ranked second in number of citations.

A member of BSSA‘s editorial board since 1996, Doser will succeed Andrew Michael, a geophysicist with U.S. Geological Survey, who has served as editor-in-chief since 2004.

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