2024-02-24 Brian Sherrod — High-resolution dating of a multi-fault earthquake and earthquake recurrence in the Salish Lowland

On February 24, 2024, the Quimper Geological Society welcomes USGS geologist, Dr. Brian Sherrod.

Join us (in person) at the First Baptist Church, 1202 Lawrence St, Port Townsend, Washington 98368, 4 pm, doors open at 3:30 pm. The event will also be filmed for viewing afterwards.

THE LECTURE:  High-resolution dating of a multi-fault earthquake and earthquake recurrence in the Salish Lowland

In this presentation, Dr. Brian Sherrod will discuss new evidence for a multi-fault rupture. This rupture occurred along the Seattle (SFZ) and Saddle Mountain (SM) faults in the winter of 923-924 CE. He will also present new evidence for a proto-historic earthquake on the Seattle fault (in the 1830s), and he will talk about recurrence of large earthquakes in the Salish Lowland. He employs photographs, USGS mapping, lidar measurements, charts, and graphs to elaborate his points. Brian is a master story-teller, and his lecture will explain how this important event was detected.

For a complete version of the research paper:  Black, Pearl, et al., 2023, A mulitfault earthquake threat for the Seattle metropolitan region revealed by mass tree mortality:  Science Advances 9, eadh4973, 9 p.


Dr. Brian Sherrod is a Research Geologist and Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator for the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, based in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington.

He received his BS in Geology from James Madison University in Virginia, his MS in Geology from the University of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and his PhD in Geological Sciences from the University of Washington. His main area of research is paleo-seismology:  finding evidence of past earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest using geological records. Much of his work uses lidar. His recent projects include looking for evidence of surface rupture along faults in central and western Washington, coastal uplift, and subsidence along faults in the northern Salish Lowland.



2024-04-20 Ralph Haugerud — Glacial Landscape of Puget Sound

Post-Mortem of Southern Cordilleran Ice Sheet

We welcome back USGS geologist, Ralph Haugerud, to present new understanding of glacial topography from lidar imagery. He will focus on what happened when the ice melted. Join us (in person) at the First Baptist Church, Port Townsend, 4 pm. The event will also be filmed for viewing afterwards.

The Lecture: Post-mortem of the southern Cordilleran Ice Sheet

Death of an ice sheet can have many causes, as shown by retreat of the southern Cordilleran Ice Sheet about 15,000 years ago. East of the Cascades, the margin of active south-flowing ice retreated north as less snow fell and more melted. West of the Cascades, the Juan de Fuca lobe of the ice sheet appears to have floated away in response to rising sea level, perhaps without a proximal climatic cause. Collapse of the Juan de Fuca lobe diverted ice from the Puget lobe, which consequently stagnated at its margin and rapidly melted back. Later Sumas ice readvance in the Fraser Lowland may reflect stabilization of the remnant ice sheet by grounding as local sea level fell, followed by climate-driven retreat.

For a more detailed abstract, please see Ralph Haugerud’s detailed abstract Jan2024.

The Speaker: 

Ralph Haugerud, is a Seattle native, with BS and MS degrees from Western Washington University and a PhD from the University of Washington. He began his career looking deep in the Earth’s crust at gneiss and tonalite in the North Cascades, moved on to study turbidites, then glacial till, and now spends much of his time looking at lidar topography. He is employed by the USGS and lives in Wenatchee, Washington.


2023-12-09 David Brownell—Drainage evolution of the Dungeness River

The Lecture

David Brownell, Executive Director of the North Olympic History Center, discusses the shifting “paleochannels” of the Dungeness River and establishes an environmental and anthropological framework to reach a better understanding of the history of the Dungeness River since the end of the last ice age.

During the last glacial epoch, the Dungeness River discharged its alluvium and built a large depositional complex that extends from the mountain front at Bell Hill north to and including the Dungeness Spit, an intriguing feature on its own (see side image).

We look at archaeological, geological, and other evidence to “recreate” the landscape of the North Olympic Peninsula as it adapted to changes in climate, biology, and other factors.

The Speaker 

David Brownell moved to Washington in 2015 to take a position as the Cultural Resources Specialist for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. During his time with the Jamestown Tribe, he was responsible for government-to-government consultation with federal, state, and local agencies regarding impacts to cultural sites; curation of the Tribe’s artifact and archival collections; repatriation of ancestral remains and artifacts; education, outreach, and much more. He also worked extensively with Jefferson Land Trust’s conservation team to secure and protect the Tamanowas Rock Sanctuary, and to educate and train Land Trust staff members.

As Executive Director of the North Olympic History Center, he manages a collection of thousands of photos, artifacts, books and more. We are currently digitizing our collections and making them available to the public at www.nohc.catalogaccess.com, as well as planning exhibits and programs for 2024. On the side, I have a small farm in Sequim where I raise goats, chickens, and lots of fruits and veggies.