Quake-monitoring station may be set up at Chimacum schools

Posted 10/21/20

A new partnership between University of Washington and the Chimacum School District has officials all shook up.

With excitement.

Acting District Superintendent David Engle recently told the …

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Quake-monitoring station may be set up at Chimacum schools

Posted

A new partnership between University of Washington and the Chimacum School District has officials all shook up.

With excitement.

Acting District Superintendent David Engle recently told the school board that representatives from the University of Washington had visited Chimacum and want to install an earthquake-monitoring device on the school’s property.

The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network has selected Chimacum as a candidate site, and the equipment would be used to monitor the South Whidbey Island Fault.

Seismology experts note the South Whidbey Island Fault passes through Admiralty Inlet, crosses beneath the southern end of Whidbey Island, and continues east between Mukilteo and Edmonds.

“That fault is likely to be the one that slips first in the foreseeable future,” Engle told the school board at a recent meeting. “So we want to keep track of that thing.”

The monitoring equipment would be installed near the back of the school district’s property in Chimacum, but in a place where students can see it, Engle said, and even test to see if their jumping up and down nearby can be picked up.

It’s hoped that the device can be incorporated into the district’s science program, he said.

For the project to proceed, the district will need to sign a “Memorandum of Understanding” with the UW.

The project is expected to start in the spring and will take a few months to complete.

Engle said the installation will include drilling “a pretty deep hole,” then putting the monitoring equipment in place, followed by a concrete cap.

“It’s not just a drop-off tool,” Engle noted.

The monitoring equipment will include safety features, and will also sport solar panels.

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