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A Big One is Coming to the US West Coast 

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Old 12-05-2014, 02:47 PM
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A Big One is Coming to the US West Coast

In short - there has been no activity at a location off shore. This means the pressure/power is building up off the West Coast.

Any parent of a rambunctious youngster can tell you trouble might be afoot when things go quiet in the playroom. Two independent research initiatives indicate there is a comparable situation with the Cascadia earthquake fault zone.

The fault zone expected to generate the next big one lies underwater between 40 and 80 miles offshore of the Pacific Northwest coastline. Earthquake scientists have listening posts along the coast from Vancouver Island to Northern California.
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But those onshore seismometers have detected few signs of the grinding and slipping you would expect to see as one tectonic plate dives beneath another, with the exception of the junctions on the north and south ends of what is formally known as the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

Even With Instruments, It’s Eerily Quiet Out There

It is “a puzzle,” according to University of Oregon geophysics professor Doug Toomey.

“What is extraordinary is that all of Cascadia is quiet. It’s extraordinarily quiet when you compare it to other subduction zones globally,” Toomey said in an interview.

To make sure they’re not missing something, researchers have been using ships to drop off and later retrieve ocean bottom seismographs. These record for up to a year right on top of the fault zone.

A joint Japanese-Canadian team dropped instruments offshore of Vancouver Island. A separate team led by Toomey at the University of Oregon is in its fourth year of deployments. Named the Cascadia Initiative, it is rotating among subduction zone segments offshore of Washington, Oregon and Northern California.

Toomey has skimmed the first three years of his results. The Japanese-Canadian team just published theirs online in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

The bottom line: Even with more sensitive instruments, it’s still eerily quiet out there. Which leads the researchers to conclude the dangerous Cascadia fault zone is stuck — or in science-speak, it is fully “locked.”

“The lack of interplate seismicity is interpreted to reflect complete healing and locking of the megathrust over three centuries after the previous great earthquake,” wrote Koichiro Obana and his co-authors in the BSSA paper.

Locked Plates Could Mean Tension Building


CREDIT USGS
The evidence pointing to the colliding tectonic plates being completely stuck has serious implications for earthquake risk on land in the Pacific Northwest.

“If there were low levels of offshore seismicity, then we could say some strain is being released by the smaller events,” Toomey said. “If it is completely locked, it means it is increasingly storing energy and that has to be released at some point.”

Toomey said a big unknown is how much strain has accumulated since the plate boundary seized up, and secondly, how much more strain can build up before the fault rips and unleashes a possible magnitude-9.0 megaquake and tsunami.

Toomey described himself as “very concerned” and said it is “imperative” people in the Northwest continue to prepare for a big earthquake.

Add Slow-Slip Events To The Mix

Complicating assessment of the seismic hazard is the relatively recent discovery of “slow-slip events” deeper down along the plate boundary — that is, under the land mass of western Oregon, western Washington and southwestern British Columbia. These slow-moving, barely detectable events may relieve or redistribute some of the stress building up in the “locked” portion of the earthquake fault zone.

The last full rip of the Cascadia Subduction Zone happened in January 1700. The exact date and destructive power was determined from buried forests along the Pacific Northwest coast and an “orphan tsunami” that washed ashore in Japan.

Geologists digging in coastal marshes and offshore canyon bottoms have also found evidence of earlier great earthquakes and tsunamis. The inferred timeline of those events gives a recurrence interval between Cascadia megaquakes of roughly every 400 to 600 years, reports the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.

http://www.kplu.org/post/study-offsh...s-eerily-quiet

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Old 12-05-2014, 08:57 PM
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Re: A Big One is Coming to the US West Coast

I'd rather die in California than live in the frozen tundra of the rest of the country..

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Old 12-07-2014, 12:43 AM
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Re: A Big One is Coming to the US West Coast

The question has never been "if," just "when."

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Old 12-07-2014, 02:27 PM
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Re: A Big One is Coming to the US West Coast

Most of America wouldn't miss California anyway.

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Old 12-07-2014, 02:54 PM
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Re: A Big One is Coming to the US West Coast

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Most of America wouldn't miss California anyway.
I wouldn't miss Nancy Pelosi.

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Old 12-07-2014, 03:35 PM
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Re: A Big One is Coming to the US West Coast

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I wouldn't miss Nancy Pelosi.
Nancy Pelosi wouldn't miss Nancy Pelosi. I don't think she knows where she is most of the time.

I mean what's wrong with San Francisco? She's a buffoon.

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Old 12-07-2014, 04:33 PM
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Re: A Big One is Coming to the US West Coast

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I'd rather die in California than live in the frozen tundra of the rest of the country..
You can have it, mate. I spent my formative years in North Dakota before it was overrun by the Bakken Oil Field crowds, which ruined it. I remember walking a mile or so to middle school in sub-zero temperatures. *sigh* Memories.

I now live in southwestern Missouri and hate the winters where we get very little snow. Winter fucking rocks! That, and we can have sport-utility rifles here and are only a day's drive from CO weed. We even have earthquakes here, so all we're missing out on is massive wildfires...

... and Diane Feinstein

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Old 12-07-2014, 04:37 PM
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Re: A Big One is Coming to the US West Coast

Glad I'm not living in the PNW any longer. Our house was on high ground in Everett, but a tsunami resulting from "the big one" would fuck up Seattle something awful.

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Old 12-07-2014, 04:51 PM
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Re: A Big One is Coming to the US West Coast

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You can have it, mate. I spent my formative years in North Dakota before it was overrun by the Bakken Oil Field crowds, which ruined it. I remember walking a mile or so to middle school in sub-zero temperatures. *sigh* Memories.

I now live in southwestern Missouri and hate the winters where we get very little snow. Winter fucking rocks! That, and we can have sport-utility rifles here and are only a day's drive from CO weed. We even have earthquakes here, so all we're missing out on is massive wildfires...

... and Diane Feinstein

I have some friends I visit sometimes in Joplin during the summer. We usually go camping, do some fishing and drink Budweiser on the river nearby. I love the Midwest, more down to earth people.

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Old 12-07-2014, 05:12 PM
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Re: A Big One is Coming to the US West Coast

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I have some friends I visit sometimes in Joplin during the summer. We usually go camping, do some fishing and drink Budweiser on the river nearby. I love the Midwest, more down to earth people.
The only thing that sucks weather-wise about MO is when we get those years where every day in August is over 100°F. With ND winters, I could add on clothing until I was able to be outside comfortably, even when it was double-digits below zero. In MO summers, you can't take off enough clothing to be comfortable. Even then the swimming pools are piss-warm and offer no relief. All you can do when it's that hot is hide inside with your air conditioning.

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