Those that have followed my other threads regarding Washington State and other seismic activities know that I have spoken before about the possibility
of some things being connected. I have been writing my Washington State thread for over a year now but today the light bulb finally turned on.
have another theory.
Bear with me. I need to go into the background of a few things first but it will make sense in the end.
First, here are my other threads for reference:
What mighit really be happening in washingtons state
Another slow tremor moving beneath the olympic peninsula
Rumbling all day today in washington state
I'll start you off with an image. A map of the tectonic plates of the PNW and the cascadia subduction zone:
I began the Washington thread over a year ago after reading an article about a theory regarding a possible magma chamber located under Washington
Geologists recently announced that there might be more things that Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier and Mount Adams have in common, other than the
fact that they are all volcanoes. Preliminary studies seem to indicate that they draw their lava from the same enormous magma pool that spans the
entire southwestern portion of Washington state.
You see, there are a lot of things in life that I am not good at but one thing I AM good at is taking in the big picture. This theory made sense to
me. Not everyone in the scientific community agrees with it but some do. I think the major issue with geological science is that they seem to
specialize in and study individual systems while very few look at them comprehensively. I had been quake watching for years in my little corner of
the earth (the NW corner of Washington state) but this article made me look a little wider. I saw a few more dots of the picture, but I knew there
had to be more. That is why I first started the thread.
Then there were the Deep Tremors
. I discovered those last year and knew instantly that they all had to be tied together. Somehow. This is a
brief explanation of what the deep tremors are suspected to be:
In short, an ETS is a discreet time interval (episode) of relative tectonic plate movement (slip) coupled with high frequency seismic energy
bursts (tremor). ETS usually last for around a few weeks duration as opposed to regular earthquakes where energy is released within seconds to
To help you understand why I find the deep tremors so important, all you have to do is look at a map that shows the deep tremors for just the first
three months of this year:
It cleary outlines the Cascadian subduction zone. Pay attention to the very Southern end. Notice the clear line where the array ends? I have been
wondering just how much further south those tremors go and what it might mean. (remember that
Throughout all of this I had been reading the Yellowstone thread. Yes, I was there from the begining and have read every post on it. Last year there
was an article published and a map presented that gave the best picture to date of where the caldera was and the plume that feeds it.
Article on Yellowstone from
The map of the plume:
The information about it:
Detailed mapping shows the "hot spot" that fuels Yellowstone National Park's geothermal features is more than 400 miles deep, and might have been
responsible for volcanic activity in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho 17 million years ago
The plume angles downward 150 miles to the west-northwest of Yellowstone and reaches a depth of at least 410 miles, Professor Smith said in a
release the university issued Monday. The study estimates the plume is mostly hot rock, with 1 percent to 2 percent molten rock in "sponge-like voids"
within the hot rock.
When I read this and saw the map, it tugged at me. I had a feeling that I needed to look even further to get the complete picture for the cascade
system and that this somehow might be another dot....but I just wasn't sure how. It has been nagging me ever since though.
Then last month they came out with yet ANOTHER map using a new technique. Check this out:
New Yellowstone article with new map
The newest map:
The latest study exploits the plume’s electrical conductivity to chart a picture in which the plume rises at a shallower angle, about 40
degrees, and is larger, extending as far as 400 miles east to west, versus the 150 miles pictured by the seismic data.
400 miles!! That would put it all the way through Idaho and into Oregon if my calculations are right. Okay. Another piece to this puzzle?
I have been thinking more and more that perhpas the magma chamber under washington and the Yellowstone caldera might somehow have at one time been
part of the same source. We know that the yellowstone plume has been moving to the East, having once resided under Northern Oregon/Southern
Washington. So is that theory such a stretch? I don't think so and scientists have suggested as much. I am taking it a bit further though. I think
they may STILL be connected. Not just those systems though. You see, there is also a caldera in Oregon: Crater lake. There is also at least one of
interest in California; Long Valley Caldera. Sound familiar to some of you? Yes, I'll get to that in a bit.
So I was thinking more about it today and I made a map. I was asking myself what you would look for if trying to trace a plume. Well hot Springs
ofcourse. So I searched state by state and made a map showing where the hottest springs are in WA, ID,MT,WY,NV and CA are. Now, please keep in mind
that some of these states have over a hundred springs. I just chose the hottest ones to put on the map. This is what I came up with:
Here is a rough map of where the suspected magma chamber in WA is, and the known (mentioned) calderas:
So is it such a stretch to follow those hotsprings, the new map of the yellowstone plume and connect those dots?:
This brings me to my lightbulb today.
After putting that all together I then realized I had to widen my view even more. Remember now, this is a
theory. As with all theories it is but one of many possibilities. I am not making a prediction. I am not saying I believe this to be the
truth....but hear me out.
The swarm on the California/Nevada border Near Hawthorne Nevada. Very strange. There are a few threads on it and I am not going to post lists of
quakes and links here. But there have been a TON of quakes there in the past weeks and the last few days some over 4.0 mag, Big for an unknown
fault. Most of them are very shallow and that was bothering me and my theory until the 4.6 today that was over 15km deep. That helped confirm my
suspicions as more probable. This is what I am putting out there:
What if the Cascadian Subduction Zone doesn't end where they think it does? It is only an educated guess, after all. That the deep tremors appear to
be the strongest at the southernmost end of the array suggests that it may very well extend further south in my opinion. What if this swarm near
Hawthorn is actually originating from the subduction zone and the stresses that are being shifted to the surface as it pushes up? (we need to study
the quakes prior to the 9.1 in Japan and see if there were any very shallow quakes there)
Possible location of extended subduction zone and the current nevada swarm:
Further...if there are a series of plumes that are interconnected and feeding the cascade range and calderas, what would this mean in a mega thrust
quake scenario? Imagine if the Cascadian Subduction zone actually extended that far (possibly further)? If there were a major 'unzipping' the
displacement of magma could be significant. If that were to happen, what would the impact be on the calderas? I had already expected that the cascade
volcanos would be triggered in a mega thrust quake (most of them last had a major eruption 300 yrs ago, same as the last mega thrust quake)....but
would the calderas in Oregon, California and Wyoming also be impacted? Has it happened in the past? Some may say so what? Why worry about it? I
worry, because one thing Geologists aree about is the very HIGH probability that the Cascadian Subduction zone is going to go SOON. Like, in the next
20 yrs or less. They keep narrowing the gap. The current maps would be devastating enough. This would expand that devastation to the whole of the
US and perhaps the world.
So there you have it my friends. Let that slide around in your brain for awhile. Read some of those articles, look at the maps, do some research.
Is it possible? Any of it, all of it? I am looking forward to what some of the magnificent minds here on ATS can come up with.
If there is even a 10% chance that I am right....well, lets just hope I am wrong.
edit on 17-4-2011 by westcoast because: (no reason