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Posts Tagged ‘Washington’

Pacific Northwest grinds to halt as twin snowstorms batter region

January 19, 2012 1 comment

www.dailymail.co.uk

Howling winter weather hit the northwest of the country as four central states on reported tornadoes, the National Weather Service said.

A cold front combined with a warm and humid air mass contributed to the unseasonable twisters which were also spotted in Tennessee, Indiana and Mississippi, Dan Pydynowski, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather.com said.

Damages reported from the twisters have been mostly to buildings, vehicles, power lines and trees while one injury was reported in Mississippi where a person suffered a possible broken arm after the tornado struck their home.

Whiteout: A pedestrian walks on a snow-covered street in SeattleWhiteout: A pedestrian walks on a snow-covered street in Seattle Read more…

Scientists Study Future Megathrust Earthquake In Pacific Northwest

July 29, 2011 Comments off

irishweatheronline

Seismic chart showing the Japan quake on 11 March 2011

Seismic chart showing the Japan quake on 11 March 2011

The Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, USA, and British Columbia, Canada, could be among the hardest hit locations in the event of a future megathrust earthquake along the Pacific coast.

A new study led by Simon Fraser University earth scientist Andy Calvert and published in Nature Geoscience this week indicates the depth of the fault between the two tectonic plates forming the Earth’s surface in the Pacific Northwest is seven kilometres deeper than previously proposed.

Calvert speculates it may mean part of the fault’s locked zone — where a megathrust earthquake can occur — could be beneath the Olympic Peninsula.

Calvert’s team studied a 200-kilometre section of a fault formed by the subduction of the oceanic Juan de Fuca plate under the Read more…

U.S. West Coast Erosion Spiked In Winter 2009-10, Previewing Likely Future As Climate Changes

July 27, 2011 2 comments

nanopatentsandinnovations

Knowing that the U.S. West Coast was battered during the winter before last by a climatic pattern expected more often in the future, scientists have now pieced together a San Diego-to-Seattle assessment of the damage wrought by that winter’s extreme waves and higher-than-usual water levels. Getting a better understanding of how the 2009–10 conditions tore away and reshaped shorelines will help coastal experts better predict future changes that may be in store for the Pacific coast, the researchers say.

Winter storm erosion of coastal bluffs at Ocean Beach, San Francisco. Damaged roadway in photo is Great Highway (January 2010)

Credit: Patrick Barnard, USGS

Credit: Patrick Barnard, USGS
“The stormy conditions of Read more…

Case Study: Tsunami in Seaside, Oregon

June 25, 2011 1 comment

carleton

Oregon Coast’s Vulnerability

tsunami map Recent research suggests that a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake could create tsunami waves that impact over 1,000-km of coastline in the U.S. and Canada. Source: USGS

The northwestern coast of Oregon is susceptible to both local and far-field tsunamis. The Cascadia Subduction Zone, where the eastward moving Juan de Fuca plate meets the westward moving North American Plate, is just off the Pacific Northwest coast of the United States and Canada. It is a 750-kilometer long fault zone. This area is very active tectonically, and therefore has the potential to produce large earthquakes and possibly, subsequent tsunamis. This subduction zone is thought to have last ruptured in 1700.

Additionally, far-field earthquakes throughout the Pacific are also capable of spawning tsunamis that could eventually reach the Oregon coast. Historical records show that since 1812, about 28 tsunamis with wave heights greater than one meter have reached the U.S. west coast. The March 1964 “Good Friday” earthquake created the most devastating of these tsunamis. The epicenter of this earthquake was near Anchorage, Alaska. The tsunami that followed this earthquake reached coasts all along the western U.S. within six hours. Cannon Beach, a small coastal community in northwestern Oregon was inundated during Read more…

Washington State on Alert For Radioactive Material Smuggling

June 23, 2011 Comments off

globalsecuritynewswire

Law enforcement officials from port communities in Washington state on Tuesday received training in detecting smuggled radiation sources in accordance with federal efforts to prevent a potential nuclear or radiological “dirty bomb” attack, the Kitsap Sun reported (see GSN, June 21).

More than 20 first response entities in the Puget Sound region are using federal funds to acquire sensors to help them scan for radioactive materials that could be carried on boats moving through the waterway.

Bainbridge Island and Port Orchard police officers received training in the use of the detection equipment at the Port Orchard marina. Police vessels from the two jurisdictions have also been equipped with expensive high-tech neutron and gamma ray sensors.

The drill involved the placement of innocuous radioactive isotopes on board two ships. The police officers had to use their newly provided technology to locate the materials.

“The most critical part is detecting it,” said Tim Quinton, a project manager at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which provided one of the vessels used in Tuesday’s training.

Portable Radioactive Isotope Identification Devices, at a cost of $28,000 each, would then be used to identify the specific kind of source and how much radiation it was emitting.

Officers from the two agencies have also been provided with Personal Radiation Detectors that resemble pagers and come with a $2,400 price tag. Officers often use the devices while patrolling by land.

“Anything you can find on water, you could find on land, too,” said Port Orchard police Sgt. Trey Holden (Josh Farley, Kitsap Sun/Seattle Times, June 23).

Study: Half of supermarket meat may have staph bug

April 16, 2011 Comments off

AP

ATLANTA (AP) — Half the meat and poultry sold in the supermarket may be tainted with the staph germ, a new report suggests.

The new estimate is based on just 136 samples of beef, chicken, pork and turkey purchased from grocery stores in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Flagstaff, Ariz. and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Proper cooking kills the germs, and federal health officials estimate staph accounts for less than 3 percent of foodborne illnesses, far less than more common bugs like salmonella and E. coli.

The new study found more than half the samples contained Staphylococcus Read more…

Radiation in US rainwater likely from Japan

March 28, 2011 Comments off

thejakartapost

 

Health officials said Sunday that one sample of Massachusetts rainwater has registered very low concentrations of radiation, most likely from the Japanese nuclear power plant damaged earlier this month by an earthquake and tsunami.

John Auerbach, the Massachusetts commissioner of public health, said that the radioactive isotope iodine-131 found in the sample – one of more than 100 that have been taken around the country – has a short life of only eight days. He said the drinking water supply in the state was unaffected and officials do not expect any health concerns.

Nevada, California, Hawaii, Colorado and Washington state have also reported tiny amounts of radiation from the Japan Read more…