Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Oregon Coast Scientist: Quakes More Frequent in Pacific NW Waters

Published 08/06/2016 at 4:01 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

New evidence is pointing to more frequent earthquakes along the Cascadia Subduction Zone than previously thought

(Newport, Oregon) – New evidence is pointing to more frequent earthquakes along the Cascadia Subduction Zone than previously thought, and an increased chance the big one expected to hit the Oregon coast will come sooner.

The new findings come from scientists working out of Camosun College in British Columbia and Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra in Spain, as well as Oregon State University and its Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. The data was published this week in Marine Geology, showing measurements from 195 core samples that contained the leftovers from undersea landslides caused by submarine quakes. Previous research has usually only come up with around a dozen such samples.

Chris Goldfinger, a professor in the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at OSU, was one of those who worked on the project and is considered one of the world's leaders on the subject of offshore quakes.

“These new results are based on much better data than has been available before, and reinforce our confidence in findings regarding the potential for major earthquakes on the Cascadia Subduction Zone,” Goldfinger said. “However, with more detailed data we have also changed somewhat our projections for the average recurrence interval of earthquakes on the subduction zone, especially the northern parts. The frequency, although not the intensity, of earthquakes there appears to be somewhat higher than we previously estimated.”

There are technically four different segments of the Cascadia Subduction Zone as it runs from northern California to British Columbia. The subduction zone has yielded some 43 major quakes in the past 10,000 years. If the entire faultline is involved it can create a magnitude 9.1 earthquake.

It’s been known for some time, and still believed to be accurate, that the southern portions of the subduction zone south of Newport, Oregon, tend to rupture more frequently. Other segments are showing different sides now.

Most ominously for the northern half of the Oregon coast and the Washington coast, the section of faultlines closest to those areas appears to rupture more frequently than previously believed. Goldfinger and others in the past had estimated this area erupts every 400 to 500 years, but they now say the average is more like 350 years.

The last such earthquake of the zone occurred in 1700, some 316 years ago. This is the section of Cascadia Subduction Zone that is also closest to Portland and Seattle.

Goldfinger said the new data increases the chances of the big one hitting in the next 50 years. Of the part of the zone off the central and northern Oregon coast, the chance of an event during that period has been changed to 15-20 percent instead of 14-17 percent. For the northern section off Washington and British Columbia, the chance for such an event is increased from 8-14 percent to 10-17 percent. More of the Oregon coast below:











More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

 

A famous little family eatery where the seafood practically gets shuffled from the sea straight into your mouth. Soups and salads include many seafood specialties, including cioppino, chowders, crab Louie and cheese breads. Fish 'n' chips come w/ various fish. Seafood sandwiches with shrimp, tuna or crab, as well as burgers. Dinners like pan fried oysters, fillets of salmon or halibut, saut�ed scallops.
Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss
Pacific City, Oregon

 


 


Coastal Spotlight

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Oregon Coast Complete Fourth of July for 2017
Yachats events, Newport events, Lincoln City events, Pacific City events, Manzanita events, Cannon Beach events, Seaside events, Astoria events
Oregon Coast Under Heat Advisory; Inland Excessive Heat Watch
Even the upper half of the coast is under the heat advisory, as temps could be close to 90. Watch the waves as well
Nature Walks, Talks at Oregon Coast Beach Bill Party in Cannon Beach
A special beachwalk, along with speakers and a party on Thursday, July 6. Cannon Beach events
Summer Solstice Tomorrow: What It Means for Oregon, the Coast
For the Oregon coast, there is an added element of surprise. Weather, science
Oregon Coast History: Newport's Yaquina Bay Lighthouse and Trying Times
It's a stately if not tiny tidbit of Oregon coast history, having only been in operation for three years
Yachats State Recreation Area - Yachats, Oregon Coast Virtual Tour
Up against the bay, at the mouth of the Yachats River, lies the paved parking lot and beach access of the Yachats State Recreation Area. Kids, travel tips
Oregon Coast Summer, Events, Attractions, Science and Tourism Latest Summer News
Attractions - Events - Beaches - Stuff You Didn't Know. Discover Summer on the coast, including updated news and events
Cape Kiwanda, Oregon Coast: Complete Travel, Guide, Info
Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area full guide. Scenery, history, attractions, hiking, viewpoints, dune, geology. Pacific City, travel tips

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted