Magnitude-9.0 Earthquake Possible In Two U.S. Locations
A massive earthquake on par with the recent catastrophic seismic event in Japan could happen in two places in the United States, scientists say.
Geophysicists estimate that the Cascadia Subduction Zone, an intersection of tectonic plates just off the northwestern coast that stretches from the northern tip of California up to Canada, is capable of generating an earthquake with a magnitude as high as a 9.0.
The last time the area shook that hard was 300 years ago. "There were hardly any people living on the Pacific Northwest Coast in 1700," said Heidi Houston, a seismologist at the University of Washington's Department of Earth & Space Sciences. "But it generated a huge tsunami that traveled to Japan and destroyed coastal villages there. The Japanese records show that the causative earthquake could only be our Cascadia Subduction Zone and it had to have been a magnitude-9.0." [...]