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Thread: The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

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    Default The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

    Sitting on a major fault line, Oregon is "like an eight-and-a-half-month pregnancy, due any time now" for a major earthquake, a geologist with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management told an overflow crowd Friday in Medford.

    "We're in the zone, and we'd darn well better get ourselves ready for it," said Althea Rizzo, geology hazard coordinator for OEM. "A lot of you may have moved here from California to escape them, but the fact is, Oregon is earthquake country."

    About half the hands went up when Rizzo asked how many had been through a California earthquake.


    Rizzo said there's a 37 percent chance the Big One will happen in the next 50 years.

    A major earthquake would cripple transportation on Interstate 5 as bridges and overpasses collapse from two to four minutes of ground shaking, possible very severe, with stressful aftershocks for weeks.

    "It's going to shake here," she said. "Single-family homes will bounce off their foundations. Landslides will cause transportation between I-5 and (Highway) 101 on the coast to be cut off for three to five years."

    A big quake will cause liquefaction, in which the ground, if saturated with water, will "turn to pudding," causing hardware, such as sewer systems, septic lines and gas tanks, to rise up out of the earth.

    Lines from Washington state gasoline refineries cross 15 rivers, leaving them vulnerable to quake tremors, she says. Most of these were built in the mid-20th century, with no thought to making them quake-resistant, she says, adding that they would be offline for at least six months.

    Electrical power would be down from one to three months until transformers and the electrical grid get going again, she says.

    A region's markets have food enough for only three days, so families should store at least three weeks of nonperishable food — tuna, beans, freeze-dried items — and other vital commodities, such as toilet paper.

    Rizzo advocates planning on the household, regional and statewide levels before the inevitable quake emanates from the "big, bad, ugly" Cascadia Subduction Zone, which runs 600 miles from about Eureka, Calif., to the north end of Vancouver Island.

    The North American tectonic plate, on which the Rogue Valley rests, is moving southwesterly a couple of inches a year, overriding oceanic plates and building up tension. When the tension is released, she said, it causes far-reaching land quakes and lifts an enormous amount of sea water, which will slam the Oregon Coast with tsunamis.

    Partial quakes happen on an average of every 240 years. The last one was in 1700, so it's been 213 years. Quakes of the entire length of the zone come every 500 to 600 years and governments should expect those to be 9.0 or more on the Richter scale — tremendously devastating.

    They cannot be predicted, Rizzo said.

    Another blow to Oregon would come if vital utilities and transportation were cut off for so long that major businesses left the state and took jobs and money with them.

    A dozen years ago, Oregon authorized $2 billion in bonds to bolster infrastructure in schools, community colleges and emergency services, but the recession, she said, took that off-track.

    Rizzo urged several hundred local residents to spread the word to family and friends to take first-aid and Community Emergency Response Team training, store supplies and get to know your neighbors and people who have training and tools.

    Communities must assess risks to buildings, roads, power, water and sewer lines, she said, adding that people should learn to "drop, cover and hold" and practice getting to safe places in their homes. Wall art should be screwed down, big furniture, water heater and bookcases secured, and heavy items kept close to the floor, not up high where they could fall on people.

    "You need to practice this over and over because when it's happening you're not going to be able to think," she said.

    The Great Oregon Shake-Out will be held at 10:17 a.m. Oct. 17 to do the "drop, cover and hold on" drill. Details of this and all other quake information can be found at www.oregon.gov/omd/oem.

    Source

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    Default Re: The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

    Thank you for posting this. It's very vital, very underplayed, and very real.
    Many of us with an interest in quakes have been worried about Juan de Fuca.
    Ever since 2007-2008 I have lived on or near the fault line and something woke me up to the fact that we need to watch it closely.
    A few years back, there were severe offshore quakes near Eureka CA, Portland, OR, Vancouver Island.
    I wrote to USGS and the Seattle Times hoping journalists and scientists would do their best to prepare the people.

    I can't stop wondering what could happen if we DID get a megaquake and it compromised Rainier.
    It's an elevated composite cone and it would be a BAD BAD deal.

    Hopefully that won't happen. The Cascadia "big one" will be bad enough without Lahars and lateral blasts.

    p.s. i can't imagine the states being cut off from each other for 5 years! Holy moly, and that's an expert saying so!

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    Default Re: The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

    it's in the meier predictions, a seaquake off the coast of oregon 9.0 lasting for five minutes creating a tidal wave that will kill thousands on the west coast ...
    Raiding the Matrix One Mind at a Time ...

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    Default Re: The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

    Hmm, you're right, check this out.

    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/9/prweb1365754.htm

    Quote Swiss Man's Prediction of 9.0 NW Earthquake Now Echoed by U.S. Scientists
    Government officials in the designated areas urged to immediately create evacuation plans for the predicted resulting tsunami.
    Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail a friend


    Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) September 22, 2008

    Recent findings by scientific experts echo a prediction, from 2005, of a mammoth earthquake that will be centered in the Pacific Northwest. The prediction by Billy Meier, a 71-year old Swiss man with a remarkable, 58-year record of specific, accurate predictions, and the report from 2008 by Oregon State University scientists (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0826124413.htm) agree on the likelihood of an enormous natural disaster occurring. However, Meier's warning also specifically mentioned a gigantic tsunami that would produce unimaginably devastating consequences for residents of the Pacific coast.
    On June 25, 2005, over three years before the OSU report was issued, Meier published the following warning, "According to our preview there will be a seaquake of 9 points on the Richter Scale in the region of the North Pacific not far from the American coast, from Portland to the south of California up to Washington in the north. As a result there will be a gigantic fault of several hundred kilometers, when as never before, a seaquake-tsunami will spread in a ring form and produce immense devastation on the main land and on the islands, which will cost many human lives. The seaquake will last for about five minutes, to be followed by additional and less forceful quakes, which will trigger another but less severe tsunami. Some facts about this threatening danger are known to terrestrial scientists, but they are not capable of realizing the really/factually developing catastrophe."
    OSU scientists don't foresee a tsunami and have a lower estimate of the magnitude of the quake than Meier. Neither they, nor Meier gave a specific date for the predicted events. Even with advance warning and monitoring of natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes, the resulting damage and loss of life can be massive. But since the exact time, location and magnitude of earthquakes and tsunamis is rarely, if ever, precisely predicted, the resulting losses in life and property are often far more catastrophic.
    It is incumbent upon all pertinent government agencies and officials in the designated areas to immediately create evacuation plans and to warn the population in the areas most at risk of the possibility of a tsunami, so that they can make their own escape plans for their families and themselves.
    Links to Some of Meier's Prophetic Information:
    The fall of the U.S. dollar, dangers of attacking Iran: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29wnpEy2DY4
    Meier beating NASA by 32 years regarding Mars discoveries:
    http://theyfly.com/newsflash94/UFO_S..._the_Towel.htm
    The Russia-Georgia scenario:
    http://theyfly.com/newsflash94/Meier...ia_Georgia.pdf
    From 1951: Ozone destruction, climate change, weather disasters, mega-quakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, illegal immigration, home computers, etc.:
    http://theyfly.com/lost/sfath.prophecies.1951.htm
    From 1958: Iraq Wars, AIDS, cell phones, credit cards, moon launches, global terrorism, European Union, bio-chipping, global warming, internet, two planets beyond Pluto, crystal meth epidemic, etc:
    http://theyfly.com/lost/meier.prophecies.1958.htm
    From 1975-1987: Jupiter's moons, Saturn's moon, Venus details, destruction of WTC, more U.S. wars, fall of Catholic Church, fall of France to Islam and invasion, fall of England, military movements of Russia, Mad Cow Disease, Chinese attack on India, civil wars and fall of U.S., etc.: http://theyfly.com/prophecies/prophecies.htm

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    Default Re: The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

    In fact wasn't a book on the 9.0M published this year by a Seattle Times journalist???????????????

    lol!

    lemme find it.

    Quote 'Full Rip 9.0' review: The next big thing- Warnings of a megaquake
    Print Special to The Oregonian By Special to The Oregonian
    Follow on Twitter
    on June 15, 2013 at 8:00 AM, updated June 15, 2013 at 11:28 AM



    Email
    FULL RIP 9.0
    Sandi Doughton
    Sasquatch Books
    $23.95, 288 pages

    If ever a book risked being labeled "unsuitable for beach reading," it might well be "Full Rip 9.0: The Next Big Earthquake in the Pacific Northwest." Author Sandi Doughton surveys the science and implications of the mega-earthquake certain to strike along the 750-mile Cascadia Subduction Zone fault that parallels the coastline of Oregon and Washington, and the tsunami it will send into our shores.

    The first popular account of earthquake and tsunami risk to the Pacific Northwest published since Japan's Tohoku disaster in March of 2011, Doughton's book traces the 30-year burst of discoveries in the geosciences shaping expert consensus that Oregon, Washington and British Columbia have experienced, and will experience again, temblors as powerful as any on earth.

    Ninety years ago, a prominent geologist declared the Puget Sound area "earthquake-proof." No credible scientist would repeat that claim today.

    "Piece by piece, scientists have re-created a history fraught with mayhem," Doughton writes. "If there's one thing geologists grasp that most people don't, it's that what happened before will happen again."

    An award-winning science writer for The Seattle Times, Doughton keeps a tight focus on the scientists whose work has shaped this new assessment of the Cascadia fault. A central narrative is the story of University of Washington geologist Brian Atwater, whose painstaking study of soil profiles in the bays and estuaries of western Washington revealed sand layers left by recurrent tsunamis and helped to prove that the most recent full-rip earthquake struck our region at around 9 p.m. on Jan. 26, 1700.

    Doughton recounts traveling with Atwater to the "ghost forest" of the Copalis River. Rot-resistant dead cedar trees there supplied smoking-gun proof that sections of the Northwest Coast dropped as much as six feet during the 1700 earthquake, consistent with the behavior of other subduction zones around the world.

    If Atwater's story deserves to be more widely known, so, too, does the work of Oregon State University professor Chris Goldfinger, whose sampling of ocean sediments has confirmed 19 full-rip Cascadia megaquakes during the last 10,000 years, and revealed another 23 temblors affecting only Oregon and Northern California. Goldfinger's findings suggest that the average interval separating major Cascadia quakes is 250 years. With the current quiet interval at 313 years and counting, Seattle is scarcely the only Northwest ZIP code whose residents have reason to be sleepless.

    The outlook for the coast, where vulnerability to ground-shaking and inundation is described as a "mirror image" of Japan's, is grim. Doughton's account of the tsunami vulnerability shared by Cannon Beach, Seaside and Washington's Long Beach Peninsula supplies ample reason for every weekend visitor to seek evacuation routes and be prepared to move -- quickly and on foot -- to the nearest high ground in the event the ground shakes.

    Doughton mentions state-sponsored planning efforts to prioritize upgrades to Northwest buildings, roads, bridges and public utilities, but "Full Rip 9.0" does not delve deeply into personal preparedness. The author repeats the conventional wisdom: prepare water and emergency supplies for a 72-hour period. Many emergency planners now urge citizens to provision for at least a week of disruption, possibly more.

    "Full Rip 9.0" is a worthy addition to the small shelf of books about the greatest natural hazard facing the Pacific Northwest. Doughton balances the excitement of scientific discovery with the grave risks that recent findings have revealed. Every Oregonian should learn and heed this Cascadia story.

    If copies of the book beat the odds and find their way into a beach bag or two this summer, they will assuredly help spread the informed awareness that is the first step toward a more resilient Pacific Northwest.

    -- Edward Wolf's recent reviews for The Oregonian include Bill McKibben's "EAARTH" and John Daniel's "Rogue River Journal."

    Reading: Doughton reads from "Full Rip 9.0" at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Powell's City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside St.

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    Default Re: The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

    I told ST that a wave could come right into the Juan de Fuca straight from SW vancouver island seabed

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    Default Re: The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

    Hi Tesla_WTC and the Group. Watch the skies.

    I pointed out in another location I believe, that there is a pattern that starts to appear in the clouds when the fault zones are under extreme pressure and "breaking".

    There is also an electrical field which can be picked up by sensors, basically under the 20 kilohertz frequency range. These coils can be hooked up the the mike input of a notebook PC and simple freeware software run to monitor. There is a characteristic spike pattern which starts to appear up to 24 hours before an event. I monitored similar type of signals in the 80's over the New Madrid fault. Below is what I was looking at (the New Madrid)



    Below is the Juan de Fuca seismicity

    Last edited by Bob; 23rd September 2013 at 00:35.

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    Default Re: The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

    Althea Rizzo tells it like it is and I wonder if she will lose her job because of the potential that businesses and residents might move out of state? I imagine lots of political types will calm the people into not reacting because it could still be 50 years off. Sounds like a terrible fate when it comes.

    Given the Federal government's reaction to the Gulf Oil spill, levee breaks in New Orleans and the hurricane problems in NJ, NY, etc., people should know better than to expect Federal government help.

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    Default Re: The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

    Thanks for this thread. Much to think about.

    It is scary. I live in the Willamette Valley about 50 miles south of Portland. The prospect of a mega earthquake makes a person feel a bit helpless. I could stock enough food for 6 weeks but what if I'm not home when it happens? What if family members are scattered around the city? How 'bout my neighbors who live in apartments made of toothpicks? I should know, I watched them being built.

    This is a situation that will require much faith and balance along with basic preparedness.

    May we all sleep well tonight.

    Nancy

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    Default Re: The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

    A promising earthquake predictor is the newly discovered phenomenon of increased electron density in the ionosphere above an earthquake zone about an hour before one strikes.

    A longer video here.


    A fascinating accidental discovery if it turns out to be a genuine, repeatable effect.

    (It was reported by the BBC so it must be true! )

    Nick
    Last edited by Nick Matkin; 23rd September 2013 at 15:01.

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    Default Re: The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

    " This type of event is usually followed by a massive upward movement of the North American Plate causing a very severe earthquake."

    Can Superstation.com be trusted or is it another hoax channel ?

    https://www.superstation95.com/index.php/world/779



    "An ocean data buoy is alerting to an "event" in the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the west coast of Oregon. This is where a magnitude 9 earthquake hit in 1700.

    According to the data buoy, the water column height (depth) fell sharply within minutes off the coast of Oregon, signaling the land beneath the ocean has suddenly "sunk." Here are the graphs showing what the ocean data buoy recorded





    As of 0231:30, the initial water column height is 2738.80 Meters deep (8985.56 feet). Two minutes and thirty seconds later, that same water column height had dropped to 2738.66 Meters deep (8985.10 feet). Where did the four inches of water disappear to? Answer: The earth sunk; and continued to sink for the next several HOURS. As you can see from the second chart above, from 0230 GMT to 0600 GMT, the ocean continued to sink to 2737.7 meters deep (8981.95 feet). The buoy is too far away from shore to be affected by high/low tide, so where did the four feet of ocean water disappear to?

    This means a Tectonic Plate in the Ocean named the "Juan de Fuca Plate" has made a sudden, eastward movement and slipped beneath another Tectonic Plate named the "North American Plate." This type of event is usually followed by a massive upward movement of the North American Plate causing a very severe earthquake.

    Here's a map of the relevant Tectonic Plates:



    In the year 1700, a similar movement of plates is believed to have been the cause of a Magnitude 9.0 earthquake, which devastated the west coast of north America, and generated an ocean Tsunami that washed inland upwards of ten MILES!

    FOUR MEAGER FEET OF WATER?

    Lest you think that four feet of ocean depth is nothing to be concerned about, be reminded that the entire column of water . . . all 8985 feet of it . . . is what dropped four feet. And it did so over an area several miles wide!

    When the tectonic plate snaps back upward, it can launch that entire 8985 foot column of water upward and toward the shore!

    As the continental shelf rises toward the shore (the ocean gets more shallow) that 8985 foot column of water starts accumulating upon itself as it moves toward shore, becoming one massive wave, perhaps 45-50 feet tall, that hits the shore for twenty minutes!

    Now do you see why this is a big deal?

    If such a thing were to happen today, hundreds-of-thousands of people would be killed as a fifteen meter (45 foot) wall of water came ashore well inland passing Interstate 5 and destroying everything its path from the beach to Interstate 5.

    Here is a map of I-5, everything to the left of it (to the west) would be wiped out:



    Mount Hood Volcano Can Be Triggered to Erupt

    This type of Tectonic Movement has a direct effect upon the volcanos in the Cascadia Volcanic Chain, in particular, Mount Hood.

    When the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate goes beneath the North American plate, it begins to get crushed. The heat from the friction of the two massive plates rubbing together, melts the Juan de Fuca plate into Magma (lava).

    Directly next to the Cascadia Subduction Zone is the Mount Hood Volcano. Here's a graphic to show you the relevant details:



    All along the Cascadia Subduction Zone are volcanoes. Most of them are inactive, but some are quite active. Here is a map of the volcanoes in the Cascade Mountains Range, so you have an understanding of the pressure relief valves (volcanoes) created over millions of years by these two tectonic plates scraping together. Mount Hood is to the right (east of) Portland, Oregon . . .



    There is a magma tunnel leading directly from the Cascadia Subduction Zone straight up into Mount Hood! As the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate is being crushed (right now) it is melting into magma (lava). Whether or not there is enough magma to cause Mount Hood to erupt is unknown.

    DO NOT PANIC - There is no tsunami or volcanic eruption at this time.

    There has merely been an "event" in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Oregon in the Cascadia Subduction Zone. This is a very rare occurrence with serious implications. It is worthy of very close monitoring by persons in the potentially-affected areas. This event is a potential warning of a POSSIBLE pending large earthquake on the west coast. There could also be an eruption at Mount Hood.

    Folks in Washington, Oregon and northern California as well as in Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA, should make certain they are prepared to take emergency action in the event a major quake does strike.

    Full Historic Background and Detailed Explanation - Scary Stuff

    Most people in the United States know just one fault line by name: the San Andreas, which runs nearly the length of California and is perpetually rumored to be on the verge of unleashing “the big one.” That rumor is misleading, no matter what the San Andreas ever does. Every fault line has an upper limit to its potency, determined by its length and width, and by how far it can slip. For the San Andreas, one of the most extensively studied and best understood fault lines in the world, that upper limit is roughly an 8.2—a powerful earthquake, but, because the Richter scale is logarithmic, only six per cent as strong as the 2011 event in Japan.

    Just north of the San Andreas, however, lies another fault line. Known as the Cascadia subduction zone, it runs for seven hundred miles off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, beginning near Cape Mendocino, California, continuing along Oregon and Washington, and terminating around Vancouver Island, Canada. The “Cascadia” part of its name comes from the Cascade Range, a chain of volcanic mountains that follow the same course a hundred or so miles inland. The “subduction zone” part refers to a region of the planet where one tectonic plate is sliding underneath (subducting) another. Tectonic plates are those slabs of mantle and crust that, in their epochs-long drift, rearrange the earth’s continents and oceans. Most of the time, their movement is slow, harmless, and all but undetectable. Occasionally, at the borders where they meet, it is not.

    Take your hands and hold them palms down, middle fingertips touching. Your right hand represents the North American tectonic plate, which bears on its back, among other things, our entire continent, from One World Trade Center to the Space Needle, in Seattle. Your left hand represents an oceanic plate called Juan de Fuca, ninety thousand square miles in size. The place where they meet is the Cascadia subduction zone. Now slide your left hand under your right one. That is what the Juan de Fuca plate is doing: slipping steadily beneath North America. When you try it, your right hand will slide up your left arm, as if you were pushing up your sleeve. That is what North America is not doing. It is stuck, wedged tight against the surface of the other plate.

    Without moving your hands, curl your right knuckles up, so that they point toward the ceiling. Under pressure from Juan de Fuca, the stuck edge of North America is bulging upward and compressing eastward, at the rate of, respectively, three to four millimeters and thirty to forty millimeters a year. It can do so for quite some time, because, as continent stuff goes, it is young, made of rock that is still relatively elastic. (Rocks, like us, get stiffer as they age.) But it cannot do so indefinitely. There is a backstop—the craton, that ancient unbudgeable mass at the center of the continent—and, sooner or later, North America will rebound like a spring. If, on that occasion, only the southern part of the Cascadia subduction zone gives way—your first two fingers, say—the magnitude of the resulting quake will be somewhere between 8.0 and 8.6. That’s the big one. If the entire zone gives way at once, an event that seismologists call a full-margin rupture, the magnitude will be somewhere between 8.7 and 9.2. That’s the very big one.

    Flick your right fingers outward, forcefully, so that your hand flattens back down again. When the next very big earthquake hits, the northwest edge of the continent, from California to Canada and the continental shelf to the Cascades, will drop by as much as six feet and rebound thirty to a hundred feet to the west—losing, within minutes, all the elevation and compression it has gained over centuries. Some of that shift will take place beneath the ocean, displacing a colossal quantity of seawater. (Watch what your fingertips do when you flatten your hand.) The water will surge upward into a huge hill, then promptly collapse. One side will rush west, toward Japan. The other side will rush east, in a seven-hundred-mile liquid wall that will reach the Northwest coast, on average, fifteen minutes after the earthquake begins. By the time the shaking has ceased and the tsunami has receded, the region will be unrecognizable. Kenneth Murphy, who directs FEMA’s Region X, the division responsible for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, says, “Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast.”

    In the Pacific Northwest, the area of impact will cover some hundred and forty thousand square miles, including Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Eugene, Salem (the capital city of Oregon), Olympia (the capital of Washington), and some seven million people. When the next full-margin rupture happens, that region will suffer the worst natural disaster in the history of North America. Roughly three thousand people died in San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake. Almost two thousand died in Hurricane Katrina. Almost three hundred died in Hurricane Sandy. FEMA projects that nearly thirteen thousand people will die in the Cascadia earthquake and tsunami. Another twenty-seven thousand will be injured, and the agency expects that it will need to provide shelter for a million displaced people, and food and water for another two and a half million. “This is one time that I’m hoping all the science is wrong, and it won’t happen for another thousand years,” Murphy says.

    In fact, the science is robust, and one of the chief scientists behind it is Chris Goldfinger. Thanks to work done by him and his colleagues, we now know that the odds of the big Cascadia earthquake happening in the next fifty years are roughly one in three. The odds of the very big one are roughly one in ten. Even those numbers do not fully reflect the danger—or, more to the point, how unprepared the Pacific Northwest is to face it. The truly worrisome figures in this story are these: Thirty years ago, no one knew that the Cascadia subduction zone had ever produced a major earthquake. Forty-five years ago, no one even knew it existed.

    In May of 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, together with their Corps of Discovery, set off from St. Louis on America’s first official cross-country expedition. Eighteen months later, they reached the Pacific Ocean and made camp near the present-day town of Astoria, Oregon. The United States was, at the time, twenty-nine years old. Canada was not yet a country. The continent’s far expanses were so unknown to its white explorers that Thomas Jefferson, who commissioned the journey, thought that the men would come across woolly mammoths. Native Americans had lived in the Northwest for millennia, but they had no written language, and the many things to which the arriving Europeans subjected them did not include seismological inquiries. The newcomers took the land they encountered at face value, and at face value it was a find: vast, cheap, temperate, fertile, and, to all appearances, remarkably benign.

    A century and a half elapsed before anyone had any inkling that the Pacific Northwest was not a quiet place but a place in a long period of quiet. It took another fifty years to uncover and interpret the region’s seismic history. Geology, as even geologists will tell you, is not normally the sexiest of disciplines; it hunkers down with earthly stuff while the glory accrues to the human and the cosmic—to genetics, neuroscience, physics. But, sooner or later, every field has its field day, and the discovery of the Cascadia subduction zone stands as one of the greatest scientific detective stories of our time.

    The first clue came from geography. Almost all of the world’s most powerful earthquakes occur in the Ring of Fire, the volcanically and seismically volatile swath of the Pacific that runs from New Zealand up through Indonesia and Japan, across the ocean to Alaska, and down the west coast of the Americas to Chile.



    Japan, 2011, magnitude 9.0; Indonesia, 2004, magnitude 9.1; Alaska, 1964, magnitude 9.2; Chile, 1960, magnitude 9.5—not until the late nineteen-sixties, with the rise of the theory of plate tectonics, could geologists explain this pattern. The Ring of Fire, it turns out, is really a ring of subduction zones. Nearly all the earthquakes in the region are caused by continental plates getting stuck on oceanic plates—as North America is stuck on Juan de Fuca—and then getting abruptly unstuck. And nearly all the volcanoes are caused by the oceanic plates sliding deep beneath the continental ones, eventually reaching temperatures and pressures so extreme that they melt the rock above them.

    The Pacific Northwest sits squarely within the Ring of Fire. Off its coast, an oceanic plate is slipping beneath a continental one. Inland, the Cascade volcanoes mark the line where, far below, the Juan de Fuca plate is heating up and melting everything above it. In other words, the Cascadia subduction zone has, as Goldfinger put it, “all the right anatomical parts.” Yet not once in recorded history has it caused a major earthquake—or, for that matter, any quake to speak of. By contrast, other subduction zones produce major earthquakes occasionally and minor ones all the time: magnitude 5.0, magnitude 4.0, magnitude why are the neighbors moving their sofa at midnight. You can scarcely spend a week in Japan without feeling this sort of earthquake. You can spend a lifetime in many parts of the Northwest—several, in fact, if you had them to spend—and not feel so much as a quiver. The question facing geologists in the nineteen-seventies was whether the Cascadia subduction zone had ever broken its eerie silence.

    In the late nineteen-eighties, Brian Atwater, a geologist with the United States Geological Survey, and a graduate student named David Yamaguchi found the answer, and another major clue in the Cascadia puzzle. Their discovery is best illustrated in a place called the ghost forest, a grove of western red cedars on the banks of the Copalis River, near the Washington coast. When I paddled out to it last summer, with Atwater and Yamaguchi, it was easy to see how it got its name. The cedars are spread out across a low salt marsh on a wide northern bend in the river, long dead but still standing. Leafless, branchless, barkless, they are reduced to their trunks and worn to a smooth silver-gray, as if they had always carried their own tombstones inside them.

    What killed the trees in the ghost forest was saltwater. It had long been assumed that they died slowly, as the sea level around them gradually rose and submerged their roots. But, by 1987, Atwater, who had found in soil layers evidence of sudden land subsidence along the Washington coast, suspected that that was backward—that the trees had died quickly when the ground beneath them plummeted. To find out, he teamed up with Yamaguchi, a specialist in dendrochronology, the study of growth-ring patterns in trees. Yamaguchi took samples of the cedars and found that they had died simultaneously: in tree after tree, the final rings dated to the summer of 1699. Since trees do not grow in the winter, he and Atwater concluded that sometime between August of 1699 and May of 1700 an earthquake had caused the land to drop and killed the cedars. That time frame predated by more than a hundred years the written history of the Pacific Northwest—and so, by rights, the detective story should have ended there.

    But it did not. If you travel five thousand miles due west from the ghost forest, you reach the northeast coast of Japan. As the events of 2011 made clear, that coast is vulnerable to tsunamis, and the Japanese have kept track of them since at least 599 A.D. In that fourteen-hundred-year history, one incident has long stood out for its strangeness. On the eighth day of the twelfth month of the twelfth year of the Genroku era, a six-hundred-mile-long wave struck the coast, levelling homes, breaching a castle moat, and causing an accident at sea. The Japanese understood that tsunamis were the result of earthquakes, yet no one felt the ground shake before the Genroku event. The wave had no discernible origin. When scientists began studying it, they called it an orphan tsunami.

    Finally, in a 1996 article in Nature, a seismologist named Kenji Satake and three colleagues, drawing on the work of Atwater and Yamaguchi, matched that orphan to its parent—and thereby filled in the blanks in the Cascadia story with uncanny specificity. At approximately nine o’ clock at night on January 26, 1700, a magnitude-9.0 earthquake struck the Pacific Northwest, causing sudden land subsidence, drowning coastal forests, and, out in the ocean, lifting up a wave half the length of a continent. It took roughly fifteen minutes for the Eastern half of that wave to strike the Northwest coast. It took ten hours for the other half to cross the ocean. It reached Japan on January 27, 1700: by the local calendar, the eighth day of the twelfth month of the twelfth year of Genroku.

    Once scientists had reconstructed the 1700 earthquake, certain previously overlooked accounts also came to seem like clues. In 1964, Chief Louis Nookmis, of the Huu-ay-aht First Nation, in British Columbia, told a story, passed down through seven generations, about the eradication of Vancouver Island’s Pachena Bay people. “I think it was at nighttime that the land shook,” Nookmis recalled. According to another tribal history, “They sank at once, were all drowned; not one survived.” A hundred years earlier, Billy Balch, a leader of the Makah tribe, recounted a similar story. Before his own time, he said, all the water had receded from Washington State’s Neah Bay, then suddenly poured back in, inundating the entire region. Those who survived later found canoes hanging from the trees. In a 2005 study, Ruth Ludwin, then a seismologist at the University of Washington, together with nine colleagues, collected and analyzed Native American reports of earthquakes and saltwater floods. Some of those reports contained enough information to estimate a date range for the events they described. On average, the midpoint of that range was 1701.

    It does not speak well of European-Americans that such stories counted as evidence for a proposition only after that proposition had been proved. Still, the reconstruction of the Cascadia earthquake of 1700 is one of those rare natural puzzles whose pieces fit together as tectonic plates do not: perfectly. It is wonderful science. It was wonderful for science. And it was terrible news for the millions of inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest. As Goldfinger put it, “In the late eighties and early nineties, the paradigm shifted to ‘uh-oh.’ ”

    Goldfinger told me this in his lab at Oregon State, a low prefab building that a passing English major might reasonably mistake for the maintenance department. Inside the lab is a walk-in freezer. Inside the freezer are floor-to-ceiling racks filled with cryptically labelled tubes, four inches in diameter and five feet long. Each tube contains a core sample of the seafloor. Each sample contains the history, written in seafloorese, of the past ten thousand years. During subduction-zone earthquakes, torrents of land rush off the continental slope, leaving a permanent deposit on the bottom of the ocean. By counting the number and the size of deposits in each sample, then comparing their extent and consistency along the length of the Cascadia subduction zone, Goldfinger and his colleagues were able to determine how much of the zone has ruptured, how often, and how drastically.

    Thanks to that work, we now know that the Pacific Northwest has experienced forty-one subduction-zone earthquakes in the past ten thousand years. If you divide ten thousand by forty-one, you get two hundred and forty-three, which is Cascadia’s recurrence interval: the average amount of time that elapses between earthquakes. That timespan is dangerous both because it is too long—long enough for us to unwittingly build an entire civilization on top of our continent’s worst fault line—and because it is not long enough. Counting from the earthquake of 1700, we are now three hundred and fifteen years into a two-hundred-and-forty-three-year cycle.
    It is possible to quibble with that number. Recurrence intervals are averages, and averages are tricky: ten is the average of nine and eleven, but also of eighteen and two. It is not possible, however, to dispute the scale of the problem. The devastation in Japan in 2011 was the result of a discrepancy between what the best science predicted and what the region was prepared to withstand. The same will hold true in the Pacific Northwest—but here the discrepancy is enormous. “The science part is fun,” Goldfinger says. “And I love doing it. But the gap between what we know and what we should do about it is getting bigger and bigger, and the action really needs to turn to responding. Otherwise, we’re going to be hammered. I’ve been through one of these massive earthquakes in the most seismically prepared nation on earth. If that was Portland”—Goldfinger finished the sentence with a shake of his head before he finished it with words. “Let’s just say I would rather not be here.”

    The first sign that the Cascadia earthquake has begun will be a compressional wave, radiating outward from the fault line. Compressional waves are fast-moving, high-frequency waves, audible to dogs and certain other animals but experienced by humans only as a sudden jolt. They are not very harmful, but they are potentially very useful, since they travel fast enough to be detected by sensors thirty to ninety seconds ahead of other seismic waves. That is enough time for earthquake early-warning systems, such as those in use throughout Japan, to automatically perform a variety of lifesaving functions: shutting down railways and power plants, opening elevators and firehouse doors, alerting hospitals to halt surgeries, and triggering alarms so that the general public can take cover. The Pacific Northwest has no early-warning system. When the Cascadia earthquake begins, there will be, instead, a cacophony of barking dogs and a long, suspended, what-was-that moment before the surface waves arrive. Surface waves are slower, lower-frequency waves that move the ground both up and down and side to side: the shaking, starting in earnest.

    Soon after that shaking begins, the electrical grid will fail, likely everywhere west of the Cascades and possibly well beyond. If it happens at night, the ensuing catastrophe will unfold in darkness. In theory, those who are at home when it hits should be safest; it is easy and relatively inexpensive to seismically safeguard a private dwelling. But, lulled into nonchalance by their seemingly benign environment, most people in the Pacific Northwest have not done so. That nonchalance will shatter instantly. So will everything made of glass. Anything indoors and unsecured will lurch across the floor or come crashing down: bookshelves, lamps, computers, cannisters of flour in the pantry. Refrigerators will walk out of kitchens, unplugging themselves and toppling over. Water heaters will fall and smash interior gas lines. Houses that are not bolted to their foundations will slide off—or, rather, they will stay put, obeying inertia, while the foundations, together with the rest of the Northwest, jolt westward. Unmoored on the undulating ground, the homes will begin to collapse.

    Across the region, other, larger structures will also start to fail. Until 1974, the state of Oregon had no seismic code, and few places in the Pacific Northwest had one appropriate to a magnitude-9.0 earthquake until 1994. The vast majority of buildings in the region were constructed before then. Ian Madin, who directs the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI), estimates that seventy-five per cent of all structures in the state are not designed to withstand a major Cascadia quake. FEMA calculates that, across the region, something on the order of a million buildings—more than three thousand of them schools—will collapse or be compromised in the earthquake. So will half of all highway bridges, fifteen of the seventeen bridges spanning Portland’s two rivers, and two-thirds of railways and airports; also, one-third of all fire stations, half of all police stations, and two-thirds of all hospitals.

    Certain disasters stem from many small problems conspiring to cause one very large problem. For want of a nail, the war was lost; for fifteen independently insignificant errors, the jetliner was lost. Subduction-zone earthquakes operate on the opposite principle: one enormous problem causes many other enormous problems. The shaking from the Cascadia quake will set off landslides throughout the region—up to thirty thousand of them in Seattle alone, the city’s emergency-management office estimates. It will also induce a process called liquefaction, whereby seemingly solid ground starts behaving like a liquid, to the detriment of anything on top of it. Fifteen per cent of Seattle is built on liquefiable land, including seventeen day-care centers and the homes of some thirty-four thousand five hundred people. So is Oregon’s critical energy-infrastructure hub, a six-mile stretch of Portland through which flows ninety per cent of the state’s liquid fuel and which houses everything from electrical substations to natural-gas terminals. Together, the sloshing, sliding, and shaking will trigger fires, flooding, pipe failures, dam breaches, and hazardous-material spills. Any one of these second-order disasters could swamp the original earthquake in terms of cost, damage, or casualties—and one of them definitely will. Four to six minutes after the dogs start barking, the shaking will subside. For another few minutes, the region, upended, will continue to fall apart on its own. Then the wave will arrive, and the real destruction will begin.



    Among natural disasters, tsunamis may be the closest to being completely unsurvivable. The only likely way to outlive one is not to be there when it happens: to steer clear of the vulnerable area in the first place, or get yourself to high ground as fast as possible. For the seventy-one thousand people who live in Cascadia’s inundation zone, that will mean evacuating in the narrow window after one disaster ends and before another begins. They will be notified to do so only by the earthquake itself—“a vibrate-alert system,” Kevin Cupples, the city planner for the town of Seaside, Oregon, jokes—and they are urged to leave on foot, since the earthquake will render roads impassable. Depending on location, they will have between ten and thirty minutes to get out. That time line does not allow for finding a flashlight, tending to an earthquake injury, hesitating amid the ruins of a home, searching for loved ones, or being a Good Samaritan. “When that tsunami is coming, you run,” Jay Wilson, the chair of the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission (OSSPAC), says. “You protect yourself, you don’t turn around, you don’t go back to save anybody. You run for your life.”

    The time to save people from a tsunami is before it happens, but the region has not yet taken serious steps toward doing so. Hotels and businesses are not required to post evacuation routes or to provide employees with evacuation training. In Oregon, it has been illegal since 1995 to build hospitals, schools, firehouses, and police stations in the inundation zone, but those which are already in it can stay, and any other new construction is permissible: energy facilities, hotels, retirement homes. In those cases, builders are required only to consult with DOGAMI about evacuation plans. “So you come in and sit down,” Ian Madin says. “And I say, ‘That’s a stupid idea.’ And you say, ‘Thanks. Now we’ve consulted.’ ”

    These lax safety policies guarantee that many people inside the inundation zone will not get out. Twenty-two per cent of Oregon’s coastal population is sixty-five or older. Twenty-nine per cent of the state’s population is disabled, and that figure rises in many coastal counties. “We can’t save them,” Kevin Cupples says. “I’m not going to sugarcoat it and say, ‘Oh, yeah, we’ll go around and check on the elderly.’ No. We won’t.” Nor will anyone save the tourists. Washington State Park properties within the inundation zone see an average of seventeen thousand and twenty-nine guests a day. Madin estimates that up to a hundred and fifty thousand people visit Oregon’s beaches on summer weekends. “Most of them won’t have a clue as to how to evacuate,” he says. “And the beaches are the hardest place to evacuate from.”

    Those who cannot get out of the inundation zone under their own power will quickly be overtaken by a greater one. A grown man is knocked over by ankle-deep water moving at 6.7 miles an hour. The tsunami will be moving more than twice that fast when it arrives. Its height will vary with the contours of the coast, from twenty feet to more than a hundred feet. It will not look like a Hokusai-style wave, rising up from the surface of the sea and breaking from above. It will look like the whole ocean, elevated, overtaking land. Nor will it be made only of water—not once it reaches the shore. It will be a five-story deluge of pickup trucks and doorframes and cinder blocks and fishing boats and utility poles and everything else that once constituted the coastal towns of the Pacific Northwest.

    To see the full scale of the devastation when that tsunami recedes, you would need to be in the international space station. The inundation zone will be scoured of structures from California to Canada. The earthquake will have wrought its worst havoc west of the Cascades but caused damage as far away as Sacramento, California—as distant from the worst-hit areas as Fort Wayne, Indiana, is from New York. FEMA expects to coördinate search-and-rescue operations across a hundred thousand square miles and in the waters off four hundred and fifty-three miles of coastline. As for casualties: the figures I cited earlier—twenty-seven thousand injured, almost thirteen thousand dead—are based on the agency’s official planning scenario, which has the earthquake striking at 9:41 A.M. on February 6th. If, instead, it strikes in the summer, when the beaches are full, those numbers could be off by a horrifying margin.
    Wineglasses, antique vases, Humpty Dumpty, hip bones, hearts: what breaks quickly generally mends slowly, if at all. OSSPAC estimates that in the I-5 corridor it will take between one and three months after the earthquake to restore electricity, a month to a year to restore drinking water and sewer service, six months to a year to restore major highways, and eighteen months to restore health-care facilities. On the coast, those numbers go up. Whoever chooses or has no choice but to stay there will spend three to six months without electricity, one to three years without drinking water and sewage systems, and three or more years without hospitals. Those estimates do not apply to the tsunami-inundation zone, which will remain all but uninhabitable for years.

    How much all this will cost is anyone’s guess; FEMA puts every number on its relief-and-recovery plan except a price. But whatever the ultimate figure—and even though U.S. taxpayers will cover seventy-five to a hundred per cent of the damage, as happens in declared disasters—the economy of the Pacific Northwest will collapse. Crippled by a lack of basic services, businesses will fail or move away. Many residents will flee as well. OSSPAC predicts a mass-displacement event and a long-term population downturn. Chris Goldfinger didn’t want to be there when it happened. But, by many metrics, it will be as bad or worse to be there afterward.

    There you have it. This is serious stuff. What took place today in the Cascadia Subduction Zone must be paid attention to. Your life may literally depend on it.
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 18th January 2016 at 19:00. Reason: added images from the source article

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    Default Re: The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

    I just love the emotional apex it reaches at the end, it's so funny.

    Quote This is serious stuff. What took place today in the Cascadia Subduction Zone must be paid attention to. Your life may literally depend on it.
    LOL ... It's hysterical.
    It's just routine disaster porn.

    No one will die.
    No continents will fall into the sea...
    Maybe a crack will appear in a road surface somewhere.. maybe a minor tremor... maybe.

    If this story is isn't a hoax, then it's probably just a measurement error.

    be happy

    lucidity

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    Default Re: The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

    I always check DutchSinse for accurate Earthquake predictions...



    he sounds more worried about the east coast and midwest

    at 9 minutes in he does point out a BC to Washington Quake is expected...
    Last edited by Rocky_Shorz; 18th January 2016 at 18:27.

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    Default Re: The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

    .
    Actually, this is a scary-dramatic but well-written article. I've just read the entire thing (it's long!), and it held my interest to the end. I learned stuff, too. (Might be easier to read on its source page, http://superstation95.com/index.php/world/779, which is punctuated by useful diagrams.)

    These major events can, do, and will happen. The last one in that area was in January 1700, and we're currently 316 years into a 243-year [average] cycle. That means that the next event is overdue.
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 19th January 2016 at 17:35.

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    Default Re: The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    .
    Actually, this is a scary-dramatic but well-written, scientifically-founded article. I've just read the entire thing (it's long!), and it held my interest to the end. I learned stuff, too. (Might be easier to read on its source page, http://superstation95.com/index.php/world/779, which is punctuated by useful diagrams.)

    These major events can, do, and will happen. The last one in that area was in January 1700, and we're currently 316 years into a 243-year [average] cycle. That means that the next event is overdue. And the buoy that suddenly dropped does mean something... this isn't invented nonsense.
    What happens in Ecuador, and northward on the ring of fire (which is why I am monitoring so closely the Ecuadorian volcano activity), shows what is "ringing". Tracking to solar activity, one gets an idea if larger quakes could happen on the north central and south American pacific shores.

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    Default Re: The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

    Quote The buoy is too far away from shore to be affected by high/low tide, so where did the four feet of ocean water disappear to?
    No tides, eh!



    Above from this page: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=46404 which seems to give indications that said station has had some troubles with its water column measurements

    Here is how these stations work:



    ... maybe some unfortunate whale or a Chinese submarine caught on that 75 meter line and dragged the station up a 4-foot pedestal?

    Sounds like a call for research financing and/or grant $$! (see this webpage: La Palma Tsunami: The mega-hyped tidal wave story ) since the article main assumption is this one:

    Quote When the tectonic plate snaps back upward, it can launch that entire 8985 foot column of water upward and toward the shore!
    Last edited by Hervé; 18th January 2016 at 19:32.
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    Default Re: The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

    The ocean floor sank\cracked ... The entire plate will move , hence a huge seaquake 9.0 lasting five minutes creating a ring shaped tsunami is on the way any day , long overdue...
    Raiding the Matrix One Mind at a Time ...

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    Default Re: The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

    DutchSinse, as a very skeptical researcher, is a very good educator. He is one of a valuable and ever increasing number of independent researchers who show us how we can investigate, step by step, scientific assumption by accepted "fact" and possibly come up with some important truths.

    He began by investigating the manipulation of weather in the states, then worldwide, by artificial means of HAARP. From my memory of reading his journey, he began investigating because he thought the idea of weather manipulation was ridiculous and completely made out of conspiracy nonsense, thus not based on science. His insights and proofs saved lives by showing how some weather manipulations would cause severe storms in the next day or two from the appearance of unnatural geometric shapes, circles then rectangles, within the weather videos available from weather sites on the net.

    Then, he branched out. His initial skepticism, then, and his skepticism to this day, is one of his greatest strengths. I would also note that it is the support he receives from those skeptics, who walk the journey with him and then take it out into their daily lives, that keeps us learning. There are some within eyesight of this thread who would do well by us all by taking that research passion for the truth into their own field of study and educating us also. Thank You, Professor DS ! Much Love Indeed!!!!!
    Last edited by Hym; 18th January 2016 at 22:33.

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    Canada Avalon Member DeDukshyn's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Pacific NW Cascadia Big One is Due, Quake Expert Says

    Quote Posted by lucidity (here)
    I just love the emotional apex it reaches at the end, it's so funny.

    Quote This is serious stuff. What took place today in the Cascadia Subduction Zone must be paid attention to. Your life may literally depend on it.
    LOL ... It's hysterical.
    It's just routine disaster porn.

    No one will die.
    No continents will fall into the sea...
    Maybe a crack will appear in a road surface somewhere.. maybe a minor tremor... maybe.

    If this story is isn't a hoax, then it's probably just a measurement error.

    be happy

    lucidity
    The main point being ... Even if the "Big one" does strike, no one can do anything about it. So even predicting 'the big one" by 2 or three days, will do nothing to help the overall situation.
    Last edited by DeDukshyn; 18th January 2016 at 22:43.
    When you are one step ahead of the crowd, you are a genius.
    Two steps ahead, and you are deemed a crackpot.

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