SEATTLE — Editor's note: The attached video outlining geological risks in Washington state originally aired in 2017.
Researchers with the University of Washington will soon embark on a citizen-based seismic study, and they’re looking for participants in the Puget Sound area to host data instruments.
The study, which will take place this summer, aims to image basins that are underneath Seattle and Tacoma and better understand how the basins could amplify shaking during a large earthquake. The basin that’s underneath Seattle is four miles deep and filled with soil and soft rock, making it vulnerable to shaking, according to UW.
It will also image the Seattle Fault, which runs east-west from Kitsap County to the middle of King County.
When an earthquake happens, the waves could get trapped in each basin and produce stronger shaking than expected.
During the study, scientists will measure background seismic energy from trucks, trains, and machines. UW’s Pacific Northwest Seismic Network says when the data is analyzed over a weeks-long period, they can determine information about the subsurface beneath each measurement station.
UW is looking for residents to offer up indoor and outdoor sites to measure seismic activity.
The indoor study will last about three to six weeks in the Seattle-Tacoma area. Scientists will place an instrument that’s about the size of a cooler on a concrete floor, such as a garage, basement, or warehouse. The seismic network says it will use less energy than a night light and takes about 30 minutes to install.
In the outdoor experiment, scientists will focus their efforts in Seattle’s Central District and Mount Baker neighborhoods to map a portion of the Seattle basin that the Seattle Fault crosses. That study will place coffee can-sized stations about every 100 yards in backyards. It lasts about four weeks beginning in mid-July.
You can sign up for either experiment on the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network’s website.