When Seattle shakes from quakes, it’s going to slide, too

Share via AddThis
Posted on December 20, 2013

With its coastal bluffs, roller coaster hills and soggy weather, Seattle is primed for landslides even when the ground isn’t shaking. Jolt the city with a major earthquake, and a new study from the University of Washington suggests many more slopes could collapse than previously estimated.

A powerful earthquake on the fault that slices under the city’s heart could trigger more than 30,000 landslides if it strikes when the ground is saturated, the analysis finds. More than 10,000 buildings, many of them upscale homes with water views, sit in areas at high risk of landslide damage in such a worst-case scenario.

“Our results indicate that landsliding triggered by a large Seattle fault earthquake will be extensive and potentially devastating,” says the report published this month in theBulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

Coming on top of widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure caused by the quake itself, landslides would compound the city’s problems and slow its recovery, said lead author Kate Allstadt, who recently earned her doctoral degree in seismology.

“I think the message is that we need to pay much more attention to these earthquake-induced landslides,” she said.

Read more at: Phys.org



43,051 science & technology articles

Categories

Our Articles (see all)

General News

Follow us

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   StumbleUpon   Plurk
Google+   Tumblr   Delicious   RSS   Newsletter via Email

Featured Video (see all)


Why wet dogs stink (and other canine chemistry)
They’re our best four-legged friends, and they’re the stars of many an Internet video. No, not cats. In…

Featured Image (see all)


How plants put up a fight
They might look weedy but plants know a thing or two about defence. When confronted by harmful bacteria,…