3.6 Earthquake Felt By Gig Harbor Science Teacher

Aug 20, 2013

An earthquake measuring 3-point-6 was felt on the Key Peninsula this morning. The University of Washington Seismology Lab says the quake happened around 11:40 and was centered some 15 miles west of Tacoma.

Matt Cooper / University of Oregon

This week a research ship is retrieving dozens of seismometers that have spent the last year on the ocean floor off the Northwest coast. Earthquake scientists hope the data they're about to get will shed more light on the structure of the offshore Cascadia fault zone. That plate boundary will be the source of the Big One whenever it rips.


The earthquake and tsunami threat to the Northwest from the offshore Cascadia fault was in the news in multiple ways Thursday. Canadian researchers have reconstructed a prehistoric record of great earthquakes on that shared fault. It reconfirms that we're due for another Big One. Coincidentally in Oregon, tsunami preparedness is getting a renewed look.

Nilfanion / Wikimedia Commons

The Blue whale is believed to be the largest animal ever to exist. But nobody remembers number two. Fin whales are the second largest animals on the planet, weighing in at around 80 tons. And they’re very mysterious creatures. Now scientists have gained better access to the giant whale’s secret lives – almost accidentally.


As Superstorm Sandy barreled down on the East Coast Sunday, there was a massive earthquake off the coast of British Columbia. It didn’t get much attention. But both events were reminders to prepare for the long-term impacts of natural disasters. That’s the message coming out of a regional conference in Portland this week.

Photo Credit: Brian Atwater

Researchers have found fresh evidence of 26-foot-high tsunami waves that washed more than three miles in to the Olympic Peninsula.

Courtney Schrieve

Thursday, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho joined their Western neighbors for an earthquake drill of unprecedented scale. Some of the record participation was due to businesses joining in the drill. In our area, among those practicing were architects, utilities and banks.

Sue White

Numerology and disaster preparedness come together Thursday morning on a big scale. At 10:18 on 10/18, eight Western states along with British Columbia and other places are coordinating on an earthquake and tsunami drill. Nearly a million people are signed up to participate in the Northwest.

Pacific Northwest Seismic Network

Parts of Washington and Oregon are in the midst of silent earthquakes this week. You can't feel this so-called "slow slip" quake and it doesn't cause damage. Still, scientists want to learn more about the recently discovered phenomenon.

Photo by Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Central Washington was considered at low risk for earthquakes back when big hydropower dams went up on the Columbia River many decades ago. But a recently completed seismic hazard assessment has found greater earthquake potential for the area than previously thought. Now the dam owners have to figure out how to respond. Seismic retrofits could cost ratepayers across the region hundreds of millions of dollars. Correspondent Tom Banse has this exclusive report.