Our Northwest

Epicenter of huge Entiat quake finally found?

Friday, May 16, 2014by  Jon Osterberg

Finally, scientists might have found the epicenter of Washington's largest, most-violent earthquake.
   In the nighttime darkness of Dec. 15, 1872, the earth shook violently near Entiat. A mountain split in half and tumbled into the Columbia River, damming its entire flow for a day. A geyser shot water 30 feet into the air near Chelan Falls.
   Researchers gauge that earthquake at between 6.8 and 7.2, but it was shallow, generating "Intensity VIII" on the surface -- more than the 2001 Nisqually temblor.
   Towns in far-away Montana and Alberta felt the 1872 quake.
   Now, a U.S. Geological Survey researcher has used laser technology to discover an 8-foot-high fault scarp in Spencer Canyon, which could point to the epicenter. A fault scarp is where the tip of the fault heaves upward, splitting the ground and leaving a cliff-like formation.
   By learning more about the 1872 quake, scientists can help predict future events. Read the Wenatchee World story that appeared in The Seattle Times.

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