Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t IceAgeNow – seismologist Chris Goldfinger has warned that a gigantic Earthquake, just off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, with the potential to kill over 10,000 American people, is many decades overdue.
According to The New Yorker;
San Andreas, which runs nearly the length of California and is perpetually rumored to be on the verge of unleashing “the big one.” That rumor is misleading, no matter what the San Andreas ever does. Every fault line has an upper limit to its potency, determined by its length and width, and by how far it can slip. For the San Andreas, one of the most extensively studied and best understood fault lines in the world, that upper limit is roughly an 8.2—a powerful earthquake, but, because the Richter scale is logarithmic, only six per cent as strong as the 2011 event in Japan.
Just north of the San Andreas, however, lies another fault line. Known as the Cascadia subduction zone, it runs for seven hundred miles off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, beginning near Cape Mendocino, California, continuing along Oregon and Washington, and terminating around Vancouver Island, Canada. The “Cascadia” part of its name comes from the Cascade Range, a chain of volcanic mountains that follow the same course a hundred or so miles inland. The “subduction zone” part refers to a region of the planet where one tectonic plate is sliding underneath (subducting) another. Tectonic plates are those slabs of mantle and crust that, in their epochs-long drift, rearrange the earth’s continents and oceans. Most of the time, their movement is slow, harmless, and all but undetectable. Occasionally, at the borders where they meet, it is not.
The Earthquake and tsunami are not the only problems which victims of the coming Earthquake will face. According to The New Yorker, Fifteen per cent of Seattle is built on liquefiable land, including seventeen day-care centers and the homes of some thirty-four thousand five hundred people. . Liquefiable land is exactly what it sounds like – during a strong Earthquake it temporarily turns to a liquid similar to quicksand. Anything solid simply sinks into the ground.
The odds of a major in the next 50 years are estimated as one in three, or a “full rupture”, which would generate a magnitude 9+ Earthquake just off the coast of the Western seaboard, as one in ten.
In the wake of the devastating 2011 Japan Earthquake, Japan has been busy deploying Earthquake early warning sensors throughout the country. Earthquakes create non destructive “P waves“, which can be detected ahead of the main quake, providing a few minutes warning.
The following Fox News interview claims there is no budget to deploy a Japanese style early warning system in the Seattle area, or any of the other regions at risk from the Cascadia fault – perhaps local government departments are too busy writing “global warming impact” studies, to give attention to Earthquake risks.http://video.foxnews.com/v/video-embed.html?video_id=4356513070001
According to the video, if a full rupture Earthquake strikes, everything West of Interstate 5 will be “toast”.
The last time the Cascadia fault produced a major Earthquake was in 1700, and there is evidence of 41 similar events occurring roughly every 240 years, stretching back over the last 10,000 years, so there is strong historical evidence that this is a real and present danger to the citizens of the American Northwest. The next Earthquake is at least 60 years overdue.