Friday, May 17, 2013

Is a massive Cascadia earthquake on the horizon?

The Cascadia Subduction Zone runs along the Pacific Northwest coast of the United States to Vancouver Island in Canada.

This major fault line is capable of producing megathrust earthquakes 9.0 or higher, though, due to a dearth of observations or historical records, this trait was only discovered within the last several decades from geology records.

The 1700 Cascadia event was better documented in Japan than in the Americas.

Records of the "orphan tsunami"—so named because its "parent" earthquake was too far away to be felt—gave earth scientists hints that this subduction zone was capable of such massive seismic activity.


“The next Cascadia earthquake has the potential to be the biggest natural disaster that the Unites States will have to come to terms with —far bigger than Sandy or even Katrina,” Horton says.

“It would happen with very little warning; some areas of Oregon will have less than 20 minutes to evacuate before a large tsunami will inundate the coastline like in Sumatra in 2004 and Japan in 2011.”