When the Nisqually earthquake struck western Washington in 2001, brick chimneys in parts of West Seattle and Bremerton were left looking like so much straw after the Big Bad Wolf had gone huffing and puffing through. Hundreds of brick chimneys at the north end of West Seattle and north of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton were seriously damaged or toppled by the magnitude 6.7 temblor.
New research suggests the main culprit might have been the Seattle fault, even though the earthquake was centered 35 miles farther south, near Olympia, and 35 miles deep. The Seattle fault runs from the Kitsap Peninsula across Puget Sound and through southern Seattle, and continues into eastern King County.
The Seattle fault did not move during the earthquake. However, it appears one of its strands might have acted something like a megaphone, gathering the seismic waves and bending their energy toward the surface directly above, said Derek Booth, a University of Washington research associate professor of Earth and space sciences and of civil and environmental engineering.
Vince Stricherz | EurekAlert!
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