153 news posts related to Natural Hazards

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Q&A: How ‘slow slip’ earthquakes may be driven by deep hydraulic fracturing

Joan Gomberg, left, and Marine Denolle

The Cascadia Subduction Zone is a massive geologic fault that last ruptured in January 1700. But while this fault has stayed quiet for centuries, it regularly generates small tremors that accompany gradual, nondisruptive movement along the fault. The tiny tremor events and slow slippage are known collectively as “episodic tremor and slip.” Seismic waves associated with these tremor events are recorded and tracked by the UW’s Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. 

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UW research helps California forest managers assess smoke hazards from prescribed burns

trees burn in a wildfire

Across the American West, managers of fire-prone landscapes are increasingly setting small fires to prevent larger, more destructive ones. Commonly called prescribed burns, these targeted, controlled fires keep forests healthy by reducing the buildup of grasses, leaves, branches and other debris that can fuel larger wildfires and smoke out nearby communities.   But smoke from prescribed burns also presents health risks. Today’s forest managers must ask themselves — how much prescribed burning is too much? 

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ShakeAlert offers latest earthquake science as region practices Great ShakeOut safety drill Oct. 19

several people handle equipment as they set up a seismometer.

As people and organizations across the globe practice earthquake drills Oct. 19 on International ShakeOut Day, closer to home in the Pacific Northwest, communities are bolstered by a state-of-the-art earthquake early warning system — and a research center that maintains the second-largest seismic network in the U.S. The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, housed within the UW College of the Environment, collects data from more than 700 seismic stations across Washington and Oregon, plus data from partner organizations in British Columbia and bordering states. 

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UW a lead partner on new NSF-funded earthquake research center

A tsunami evacuation sign along Washington’s coast. Rob Witter/USGS

The University of Washington is a lead partner on a new multi-institution earthquake research center based at the University of Oregon that the National Science Foundation announced Sept. 8 will receive $15 million over five years to study the Cascadia subduction zone and bolster earthquake preparedness in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The Cascadia Region Earthquake Science Center, or CRESCENT, will be the first center of its kind in the nation focused on earthquakes at subduction zones, where one tectonic plate slides beneath another. 

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