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Pacific Northwest Urban Corridor Geologic Mapping


To provide geologic mapping, geophysical surveys, and research needed for earthquake hazard mitigation and groundwater resource assessments in the Seattle-Portland urban corridor.


The cities of Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon lie above the Cascadia subduction zone, a region of active seismicity and volcanism. An understanding of the surficial geology and crustal faulting in this heavily populated region is essential while planning for potential hazardous events. Urban growth is also impacting local ground water, energy resources, and native fisheries. Through a coordinated study that combines geologic field mapping, geophysical surveys, and paleomagnetic and geochemical studies, project members are gathering the information necessary to develop a hazard model for the region. Products are incorporated into the National Seismic Hazard Map, which is updated regularly. In response to project information about these hazards, State building codes have been upgraded.

Study Area:

Oregon, Washington, Canada

Anticipated Uses:

Hazards (Landslides), Hazards (Earthquakes), Resources (Water)


Boise State University (ID), Geological Survey of Canada, Marion County (OR), Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI), Oregon State University, Oregon Water Resources Department, Pacific Geoscience Centre (Canada), Portland State University (OR), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY), Shannon and Wilson, Inc., Simon Fraser University (Canada), Structural Engineers Association of Washington (WA), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), U.S. Department of Agriculture, University of Oregon, University of Washington (WA), University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, URS Corporation, Washington Department of Ecology, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Washington State University, Weyerhaeuser Company

Project Status:

Current NCGMP Funding

Project Duration:


Duration of NCGMP Funding:


Contact Information:

Project Chief: Ray E. Wells (Western Earth Surface Processes Team)
Phone: 650-329-4933

Related Links:

Project Website:
Project Geologic Maps: