Wednesday, October 7, 2015

[HAZARD] - Are you ready?  Part 1 of 5 - The CSZ

With the recent disaster in Nepal and the release of the movie San Andreas, the topic of large earthquakes is foremost on the minds of many.

Currently a significant investment in planning for just such an event is being made by government at all levels as well as NGOs, Tribes, and others who have a vested interest.

Recently I had the opportunity to attend several briefings on what is known as the Cascade Subduction Zone event or CSZ.  The CSZ is a collision of tectonic plates in which one plate is diving under another.  These areas are know for their ability to produce what are called tectonic mega-thrust earthquakes.  What is a tectonic mega-thrust earthquake you say?  To put this in perspective, San Andreas is like the warm up band for Led Zeppelin.  When the main act goes on stage they will quite literally bring the house down, which is exactly what a tectonic mega-thrust earthquake will do.

This particular event is localized to the West coast of the United States, from Northern California to Vancouver British Columbia.  This segment of the “Ring of Fire” has been very quiet since January 26, 1700 when it is believed the last Mega Thrust Tectonic Plate earthquake produced by the Juan de Fuca and North American plate interface occurred.  When geologists formulate estimates for this event, the magnitude values begin at 9.0 and go up.  These are events that will potentially change the geology of the region or as my friends in the geology game say “take us back to 1850’s America.”

The briefings I’ve received have also been delivered to the Governor of Washington and his department heads.  To their credit, each of these individuals is taking the information seriously.  Each has initiated responsible and thoughtful actions in response to the information presented.

My objective is to prompt action on your part!

My objective in discussing this with you first and foremost is to impart knowledge, but more importantly to prompt action on your part, especially if you happen to live in the danger zone, which extends the length of the plate boundary and as far East as the Cascade mountain range.

"Indecision and delays are the parents of failure.”
~~George Canning

Note that even if you don’t live in this particular danger zone, the information applies equally to other locations that have their own hazards.

Lets consider these two things.  
First, what is going to happen?  What will be the impact of a CSZ?
Second, what can be done?  

To be continued in part 2

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