Seattle is a large city beset by the effects of ongoing urban development and redevelopment of a huge but fragile “pile-like” mantle of late Pleistocene glacial debris, exacerbated by considerable topographic relief, high rainfall, and a serious, yet incompletely understood, Holocene-aged regional seismotectonic regime. The editors—from the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS's) remnant Denver cadre of engineering geologists—have delivered a timely update of Galster and Laprade's 1991 summary of Seattle's engineering geology.

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Six years after Galster and Laprade's summary, the Seattle area was subjected to record snowmelt and rainfall intensities, which caused damage sufficient to commission a long-term mitigation-based multi-hazards study...

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