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Jul 20 / Dave Schumaker

Possible Tsunamis from a Cascadia Earthquake

Pardon me for digging up some old articles, but I found two of them in the San Francisco Chronicle from June that are kind of interesting. (Hey! I need to make up for the fact that I didn’t post a single news item in June!) This one talks about a professor at UC Santa Cruz who is modeling how a tsunami would propogate down the Pacific Coast. This article talks about scientists are using deposits of sand that have been washed ashore during past tsunamis to help them model future events. To model the event’s effects, Ward assumes that in a huge quake on the Cascadia subduction zone, the two crustal plates would abruptly slip apart vertically by at least 50 feet in three successive blocks from south to north, generating a 9.2 magnitude quake. Aside from enormous quake damage on land for hundreds of miles, Ward estimates the resulting tsunami would pile a wave more than 20 feet high crashing onto the Oregon-Washington coast, inundating Seattle and the entire Puget Sound region as well as Portland and the mouth of the Columbia River.

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