- Cascadia fault line has lain dormant for 300 years
- Eruption could trigger tsunami, devastating seaside communities – and reach as far as Japan
Disaster zone? A huge ‘megathrust’ earthquake could spark a tsunami and devastate the U.S. northwest if the Juan de Fuca plate is forced further under the North America plate on the Cascadia fault line
The north-west coast of the U.S. could be devastated by a huge movement of undersea plates known as a ‘megathrust’ earthquake, scientists say.
A review of the dangers posed by the Juan de Fuca plate released in the wake of the Japanese quake has raised fears that the Pacific seaboard could be similarly ravaged.
The horrifying possibilities have been brought to light by data researched by the Active Tectonics and Seafloor Mapping Laboratory at Oregon State University.
And the results are shown in a documentary, Megaquake: The Hour That Shook Japan, which is set to go out on the Discovery Channel in the UK this weekend.
The huge March 11 earthquake that sparked the tsunami off the coast of Japan may have been a ‘megathrust’ quake and now researchers fear the Cascadia fault line 50 miles off the U.S. coast could rupture and cause a quake and subsequent tsunami.
The average time along that fault between massive quakes above magnitude 8 is 240 years, said The Times, and the last ‘megaquake’ was just over 300 years ago.