Earthquake risk higher for NW

Study says big earthquake could occur sooner than previously thought

August 7, 2016

more likely to occur in the Pacific Northwest sooner than previously suggested.

The study results, published last week in Marine Geology, is based on submarine core samples in the Cascadia Subduction Zone which stretches from northern California to British Columbia.

Based upon the research, scientists say the chances of a major earthquake off the Oregon coast during the next 50 years is somewhat more likely than had been previously thought.

The last major earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone occurred in 1700 and sent a tsunami across the Pacific Ocean to Japan.

The importance of the study, according to Chris Goldfinger, a professor in the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at OSU, is that scientists have better information about the earthquake frequency in the region. Oregon State is working with major employers and local governments to prepare for future earthquakes.

OSU collaborated on the study with Camosun College in British Columbia and Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra in Spain. It was funded by the National Science Foundation and US Geological Survey.

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