Response to New Yorker article featuring RRU led research

Jake Ellison

The New Yorker’s July feature story, The Really Big One, rattled communities all along the San Andreas Fault.

As reported by the New Yorker, “everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast” after the big one, and it’s coming soon.

In response to the New Yorker story, the news site mySA cites School of Environment and Sustainability Prof. Audrey Dallimore’s research.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

The Cascadia Subduction Zone running the length of the coast from northern Vancouver Island down to California last slipped and shook the surface of the Earth 300 years ago, and that was just the latest of 22 such quakes in the past 11,000 years.

The scientists, whose work is published in the latest Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, used a new aging model for identifying and dating disturbed sedimentary layers in a core raised from the inlet.

The disturbances appear to have been caused by large and megathrust earthquakes that have occurred over the past 11,000 years, According to a science news site run by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

One of the co-authors of the study, Dr. Audrey Dallimore, associate professor at Royal Roads University, told the news site:

“We have identified 22 earthquake shaking events over the last 11,000 years, giving an estimate of a recurrence interval for large and megathrust earthquakes of about 500 years. However, it appears that the time between major shaking events can stretch up to about 1,000 years.

“The last megathrust earthquake originating from the Cascadia subduction zone occurred in 1700 A.D. Therefore, we are now in the risk zone of another earthquake. Even though it could be tomorrow or perhaps even centuries before it occurs, paleoseismic studies such as this one can help us understand the nature and frequency of rupture along the Cascadia Subduction Zone.”

Read the entire article.

Photo credit: U.S. Geological Survey via Wikimedia Commons