University of Washington launches effort to prepare Northwest region for 9.0 magnitude quake

April 2014SEATTLE — Scientists fully expect that the coast of Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and part of northern California to see a magnitude nine subduction zone earthquake again. It’s been 314 years since the last one in January of the year 1700. Scientists know of this quake because of written reports from Japan that recorded a tsunami. The reports of a giant wave also correlate with rings in old trees killed when marsh land along the Washington coast dropped several feet, allowing sea water to envelope their roots. This week, scientists with the University of Washington gathered 55 experts from around the region. Their goal: to step up efforts to prepare for the next magnitude nine earthquake in the Northwest and the ensuing recovery. “That’s the critical part. To be prepared and then to bounce back.” said John Vidale, Washington state’s seismologist and head of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. Vidale moderated the event. The project is called M9, as in magnitude 9. But the lessons learned from it could be applied to any major natural disaster in Washington, a state that’s currently recovering from the landslide near Oso on March 22 that killed at least 41 people.
In addition to earthquake scientists, M9 participants included structural engineers, transportation experts, and representatives from the insurance industry, social scientists, oceanographers, tsunami specialists and emergency managers. The plan is to update the science to better prepare everything from skyscrapers to bridges to people in their own homes for when a mega-quake hits. “People may not be preparing themselves adequately for the kind of disaster that’s going to happen,” said Ann Bostrom with the U.W. Evans School of Public Affairs. But she added that the big quake is just one scenario that threatens people and homeowners. “I do think about insurance, about the preparations people can do. I think about the mental preparations people have to do in order to plan for all kinds of hazards, and what we can do in our risk communications projects to help people do that,” Bostrom said. Interdisciplinary efforts have happened before, at meetings and conferences. But this time it’s a bigger commitment to work together: a three year, $4 million project financed by a grant from the National Science Foundation. The risk from violent shaking and a tsunami is not just confined to coastal communities. The Seattle area is also considered at an elevated risk. The city and some of the surrounding area sits on a basin of softer soil and rock surrounded by harder materials. That could trap earthquake waves and cause them to resonate for a longer period of time, creating more damage. An area of further study is how those earthquake waves, particularly ones of certain frequencies will effect tall downtown buildings. –KREM
This entry was posted in Dormant fault activation, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, High-risk potential hazard zone, Lithosphere collapse & fisssure, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Strange high tides & freak waves, Tectonic plate movement, Time - Event Acceleration, Volcano Watch. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to University of Washington launches effort to prepare Northwest region for 9.0 magnitude quake

  1. Glencairn Murray-Morgana says:

    As a long time resident of the Seattle area I have to say that the time and funds put into this issue should be used towards the ongoing disaster of a real time event of nuclear genocide occurring here from Fukushima!!The powers that be have been discussing this subduction zone quake for decades and ignoring a most important environmental disaster at our doorstep.


  2. Bone Idle says:

    Geologists and seismologists doing studies in Alaska were also surprised to see evidence of many large tsunamis which have been dated to the have occurred in the last 1000 years. Large tsunamis are more common than popularly believed. Some of the geologic evidence ties up closely with written Japanese history.
    Following their Alaskan discoveries some teams went to Hawaii to check out if there was any corresponding evidence there. – There certainly was.
    Following the 2004 Asian tsunami, risk assessments were done in many countries around the Pacific rim. Some countries such as Australia never contemplated a Tsunami risk – until the scientists actually went looking for it.


  3. Clint Hunter says:

    + now about Downie Slide north of revelstoke dam and that Hanford Plutonium Reserve just down the Columbia River a few dams


  4. Change is in the air, everywhere…


  5. fufu says:

    however the page is so sure that yellowstone caldera won t erupt in the short time , this people argue Et s give them the main information , many people are so sure this won t happen they label this as Alarmist news Some others think Et s could be so wrong even animals , hope not ……………
    April 26 2014
    The Yellowstone caldera is well known for its cycles of uplift and subsidence over both historic and geologic timescales. Most models for deformation assume sources due to transport of magma or hydrothermal brine streaming through ruptured permeability barriers. Recent investigations of chemical mass balance at Yellowstone provide critical insights into potential sources of both deformation and heat. Volatile fluxes from the Yellowstone caldera have been calculated by summing the flux of Cl–, F, SO42–‚ and HCO3– through the major rivers leaving the Yellowstone Plateau. Long-term studies show that Cl–, the primary non-H2O component of geothermal brines has not changed appreciably in output during recent periods of subsidence and uplift. Instead, Cl– flux is dominated by recharge constraints, increasing during periods of greater precipitation. Carbon is much more abundant than sulfur in Yellowstone’s waters, but is even more dominant when combined with data on gas flux from fumaroles and diffuse degassing. In fact, CO2 is about 300 times more abundant than Cl– on a molar basis as an effluent from the Yellowstone hydrothermal system. Similarly sulfur flux exceeds Cl– by about 25 times what one would expect from the concentrations in degassed volcanic rocks that could be leached. Phase equilibrium constraints imply that the shallow subsurface at Yellowstone (the upper two km) should be saturated with a CO2-rich vapor phase under most conceivable P-T conditions. This volumetrically significant (even dominant) phase should have an important role in pressurization of the hydrothermal system and may contribute to ongoing cycles of deformation within the caldera. The volatile “signature” from Yellowstone strongly suggests that gas discharge is controlled not by the crustal granitic magma chamber but by subjacent basaltic intrusions that provide both heat and mass to the overlying system.


  6. geology333wayne says:

    Only in the last 30 years or so are we learning about the natural events that have happened and will happen again in places like the west coast. Would humans have built cities in these areas if we had known about the dangers? Certainly. The planet is constantly recycling and unfortunately we humanoids will fall victim to this process.


  7. Irene C says:

    I just came across this article this morning that I thought was interesting.

    Mount St. Helens magma re-pressurizing

    First things first: There are no signs of an impending volcanic eruption on Mount St. Helens.

    But scientists with the Cascades Volcano Observatory said the volcano remains active and is showing “long-term uplift” and earthquake activity….


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