Analysis of seismic reflection data reveals that the Seattle basin (Washington) is markedly asymmetric and consists of ∼9-10 km of Eocene and younger deposits. The basin began as a discrete geologic element in the late Eocene (∼40 Ma), the result of a reorganization in regional fault geometry and kinematics. In this reorganization, dextral offset on the Puget fault south- east of Seattle stepped eastward, and the Seattle fault began as a restraining transfer zone. North-vergent reverse or thrust faulting on the Seattle fault forced flexural subsidence in the Seattle basin to the north. Offset on the Seattle fault and subsidence of the Seattle basin have continued to the present.