Tidal tugs on Teflon faults drive slow-slipping earthquakes

Slow earthquakes happen between the hazardous locked zone and the viscous portion that slips silently

Unknown to most people, the Pacific Northwest experiences a magnitude-6.6 earthquake about once a year. The reason nobody notices is that the movement happens slowly and deep underground, in a part of the fault whose behavior, known as slow-slip, was only recently discovered. A University of Washington seismologist who studies slow-slip quakes has looked at how they respond to tidal forces from celestial bodies and used the result to make a first direct calculation of friction deep on the fault. Though these events occur much deeper and on a different type of fault than the recent catastrophe in Nepal, the findings could improve general understanding of when and how faults break.

Read more at UW Today »

Wildlife vulnerabilities to climate change, lay summaries for science papers, geoducks and more: Week of April 20 published research

weekly research waves

Each week we share the latest peer-reviewed publications coming from the College of the Environment. Over the past week, twenty-four new articles co-authored by members of the College of the Environment were added to the Web of Science database, including studies on the ionospheric precursors of earthquakes, how the are burned by fires relates to water balance, and more. Check them out!

Read more »

Celebrate Earth Day at Red Square, April 22

Earth Day

Join in on the Earth Day festivities with Dean Lisa Graumlich and others at the central UW Seattle Earth Day Celebration at Red Square on April 22! Marking the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, all students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend. An important day celebrated at the University of Washington since the very first Earth Day in 1970, it’s an opportunity to appreciate and recognize the year-round environmental stewardship and sustainability efforts across all UW campuses. 

Read more »

Three innovation imperatives

Mussels, anenomes, and urchins.

We recognize that the environmental challenges we face in the 21st century can appear daunting: the problems are complex, the stakes are high, and time is short. From my vantage point as Dean, the good news is that our faculty, staff, and students tackle grand challenges with an innovation mindset: a set of values and practices that link knowledge and action. 

Read more »