Whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on


Odds are 1-in-3 that a huge quake will hit Northwest in the next 50 years

New analyses by Oregon State University marine geologist Chris Goldfinger and his colleagues have provided fresh insights into the Northwest’s turbulent seismic history – where magnitude 8.2 (or higher) earthquakes have occurred 41 times during the past 10,000 years. Those earthquakes were thought to generally occur every 500 years, but as scientists delve more deeply into the offshore sediments and other evidence, they have discovered a great deal more complexity to the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

“What we’ve found is that Cascadia isn’t one big subduction zone when it comes to major earthquakes,” Goldfinger said. “It actually has several segments – at least four – and the earthquake activity is different depending on where a quake originates. The largest earthquakes occur in the north and usually rupture the entire fault. These are quakes of about magnitude-9 and they are just huge – but they don’t happen as frequently.

“At the southern end of the fault, the earthquakes tend to be a bit smaller, but more frequent,” he added. “These are still magnitude-8 or greater events, which is similar to what took place in Chile, so the potential for damage is quite real.”

Based on historical averages, Goldfinger says the southern end of the fault – from about Newport, Ore., to northern California – has a 37 percent chance of producing a major earthquake in the next 50 years. The odds that a mega-quake will hit the northern segment, from Seaside, Ore., to Vancouver Island in British Columbia, are more like 10 to 15 percent.

“Perhaps more striking than the probability numbers is that we can now say that we have already gone longer without an earthquake than 75 percent of the known times between earthquakes in the last 10,000 years,” Goldfinger said. “And 50 years from now, that number will rise to 85 percent.”

Found via the FuturePundit who asks “Anyone who lives in the northwest made any special preparations for an earthquake? Ready to survive for weeks without electric power or city water?”

I’m ready.

Art thou?

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2 Responses to Whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on

  1. Guns – Check
    Ammo – could use more (but then, I can always use more), Check
    Food – could use more, and the expy dates are getting short, but check
    water – gotta get a food grade barrel and fill it, but I’ve got tons of bottled stuff, so check
    survival gear – oh yeah, check

  2. Rivrdog says:

    MRS, don’t put all your water in one container. If something happens to that water, you’re up the creek without a straw. I use the 7-gallon Aquatainer jugs. Watch for sales on them at Bi-Mart, where they are loss-leader items at least twice a year. Other camping stores sell them, also. I have six of those.

    I have a Katadin filter, but after reading about the PET-bottle purification system, I am ready to try that, and a commercial model, with sediment filter, is on the market.

    In Portland, we have a 4-month dry season, but most other times, we can collect rainwater sufficient for use. In my case, all I do is put a long skinny tarp under the drip line with wood under it to make a channel, and I could fill those six jugs in a three-hour rain event.

    I also have a year-round creek about 90 yards from my house. My biggest issue will be fuel, after putting my survival building back on it’s foundations. I have a fair amount of wood in my fence, and an Army arctic potbelly stove to burn it in, and I have 5 smallish maple trees on the property. I have the liquid fuel kit for the Army stove (they are rare), and can burn ANY level of liquid fuel, as there are 5 different generators with the kit.

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