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Geological Fun Fact

 Today’s 6.5 earthquake in Northern California occured at the Mendocino Triple Junction.  That’s the southern terminus of the Cascadia Fault.  The Cascadia fault runs off shore of Oregon and Washington and is capable of causing magnitude 9+ earthquakes, like the one in Indonesia five years ago.  Those massive quakes happen when the fault rips open from one end to the other, like a zipper.  Such an earthquake would devestate Seattle, Portland AND Vancouver, BC.  Yes, AND.  A full rupture of the Cascadia Subduction Zone would rip apart the ocean floor from Northern California to halfway up Vancouver Island, so I’m talking about a 700 mile long tear in the earth.  The word “epicenter” has no useful meaning here.  There would also almost certainly be a tsunami that would hit pretty much every low lying coastal city in Oregon and Washington within minutes of the quake, and it would race across the ocean at 600 miles an hour and hit Alaska, Hawaii, and Japan.  Massive earthquakes along the Cascadia Subduction Zone happen about every 300-600 years, and the last one occured in 1700.

Let me repeat:  Today’s quake in California was on the same fault that will someday destroy Seattle.

So…  Got batteries for your flashlight…?


In the meantime, here’s a picture of Cape Mendocino, on the coast of Northern California, just on shore from the Mendocino Triple Junction:
Mattole Beach, Petrolia, CA


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