Notable Earthquake of the Week
January

The Great Cascadia M 9.0+ Earthquake, January 26, 1700

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A few years ago, scientists found evidence for a powerful earthquake registering in the M 9.0+ range that rocked the Pacific Northwest at about 9:00 p.m. on January 26, 1700. Utilizing historic records, the Geological Survey of Japan investigated the source of a series of five large tsunamis that inundated villages in northern Honshu, Japan, in 1700.
 
The team examined records of great earthquakes and tsunamis throughout the Pacific region and concluded the waves must have originated from a powerful earthquake along the Cascadia subduction zone, a megathrust fault located off the Northern California, Oregon and Washington coast. It is the fault by which the Gorda and Juan de Fuca tectonic plates are being forced under the North America plate.
 
By knowing the time of the tsunamis in Japan and the wave travel time across the Pacific, the Japanese team concluded the quake must have struck at about 9:00 p.m. local time. The implications of a powerful M 9.0+ Cascadia earthquake is enormous and is being intensely studied.
 
Subsequent geologic investigations have shown that earthquakes of similar strength have occurred at irregular time in the past 6,000 years.

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