Tree ring correlation between prehistoric landslides and abrupt tectonic events in Seattle, Washington

  • Jacoby G
  • Williams P
  • Buckley B
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Abstract

Radiocarbon ages of submerged trees on landslide deposits in Lake Washington, Seattle, indicate that the most recent slides in three separate areas may have occurred simultaneously about 1000 years ago. Tree ring crossdating shows that seven bark-bearing trees from one of these recent slides and a tree 23 kilometers to the northwest in a probable tsunami deposit on the shore of Puget Sound died in the same season of the same year. The close coincidence among the most recent lake landslides, a probable tsunami, abrupt subsidence, and other possible seismic events gives evidence for a strong prehistoric earthquake in the Seattle region.

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Authors

  • Brendan BuckleyLamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University

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  • Gordon C. Jacoby

  • Patrick L. Williams

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