Reports

Abrupt Uplift Within the Past 1700 Years at Southern Puget Sound, Washington

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Science  04 Dec 1992:
Vol. 258, Issue 5088, pp. 1611-1614
DOI: 10.1126/science.258.5088.1611

Abstract

Shorelines rose as much as 7 meters along southern Puget Sound and Hood Canal between 500 and 1700 years ago. Evidence for this uplift consists of elevated wave-cut shore platforms near Seattle and emerged, peat-covered tidal flats as much as 60 kilometers to the southwest. The uplift was too rapid for waves to leave intermediate shorelines on even the best preserved platform. The tidal flats also emerged abruptly; they changed into freshwater swamps and meadows without first becoming tidal marshes. Where uplift was greatest, it adjoined an inferred fault that crosses Puget Sound at Seattle and it probably accompanied reverse slip on that fault 1000 to 1100 years ago. The uplift and probable fault slip show that the crust of the North America plate contains potential sources of damaging earthquakes in the Puget Sound region.