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Putting It All Together: A theory of historical proportions involving WA,ID,MT,WY,NV,OR and CA.

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posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 03:29 AM
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.
I 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 State:

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 minutes.


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 2009

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:

Most significant:

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? Hmmmmm......

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 given)

posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 03:49 AM
Nice detailed post and i'm happy to answer one of your questions. If your correct and the whole subduction zone goes it will have little effect on the calderas or volcanoes. The caldera's and the composite cone volcano's tend to have alot of andesitic-to-rhyolitic magma which is highly viscous meaning it doesn't flow very well. This type of magma also tends to be far more explosive due to the mixture of silica-rich dissolved gases.

If this super earthquake were to happen and rip the volcano's or calderas open right down to the chamber you would have some lava flow but unless there is enough explosivity in the gas content it will not cause an eruption. And if you've ever seen rhyolitic lava flow, there's some cool pictures of Mt. St. Helens rhyolitic lava flows, you'd see they don't pose much of a danger. Kinda like taking a bottle of honey out of the fridge and turning it upside down.

Earthquakes do not cause volcanic eruptions. It's the movement of magma and gas that causes earthquakes around the volcano so there is little danger of that. However I think a quake like this would be enough to worry about.

posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 03:59 AM
reply to post by kro32

Thank you for your response! While I agree with you that typically earthquakes do not 'cause' an eruption but are rather a result of the shifting that takes place when magma moves (one reason at least, we know there are many causes) I am talking about a mega thrust quake. One that has the potential of being larger than what we just witnessed in Japan. What I am wondering, is IF there were a magma chamber under Washington state and that chamber was displaced by massive land movement (like what we saw in Japan) wouldn't that displacement possibly result in eruptions? (resulting pressure would take the path of least resistance) Expand that thought process to encorporate the other systems I spoke about in the OP and you can see what I am getting at. Cause and affect. This may be something that has never been seein in recorded history or at least not understood...doesn't mean it can't happen.

As you say, even without the involvement of the calderas the unzipping of the subduction zone alone would be catastrophic. If it is larger than theorized and DOES extend further into California the implications of the Hawthorne swarm becomes much larger.
edit on 17-4-2011 by westcoast because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 06:17 AM
Great geological sleuthing there westcoast! S&F for you. I tend to agree with you that there may be some connection with volcanic activity. After the quake in Japan, was there not a bit more volcanic activity right after it happened? It certainly seemed to stir things up a bit. If there were a larger quake on the Juan de Fuca, I could see magmatic changes taking place for sure. That kind of energy has got to shuffle things around down there. I like the way you think and your ideas are well explained in this thread. I'll be watchin' ya! (wiggles eyebrows

posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 06:30 AM
Well no one knows what a sudden movement of that magnitude would do. As far as I know nothing like that has ever been discovered so yes it would definetly have an effect on a large magma chamber in the region. Instead of the path of least resistance going up though it may also go down further into the earth.

It's really just guess work as to what's gonna happen with the two plates slipping on that large of a scale. I would worry more about gigantic landslides coming off the mountains before I'd worry about them erupting however.

Very interesting thinking outside of the box though

posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 08:25 AM
Awesome thread, i was just wondering,those 3 hotspots on the map,are there any military bases close to them? If so,are they moving eqipt. Out of them? perhaps this is a sign of things to come? Im pretty sure i have seen a thread or 2 on heavy military movement out west. Ops,know this is off topic,but it may tie in.

posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 08:39 AM
Very good work.
The Cascadian subduction zone lies on the eastern edge of the Pacific plate, does it not?
What happened in Japan then, on the opposite side?
Did it sink? If so, then perhaps the entire Pacific plate is moving up in the US and down in Asia (just guessing here)
You make some very good observations here. Is there an even bigger picture to be looked at?


posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 09:40 AM
reply to post by Asktheanimals

The same thought occurred to me after I read up on the Japan slip. It seems plausible to have one side of the tectonic plate rise (or at least a change in pressure) on the opposite side.

That being said, it could be possible that the upward lift on the west coast could lead to either

A: A release in pressure build-up. This would prolong the coming of the great Quake on the West side of the US by possibly many hundreds of years. Or...

B: Upward pressure creating a build-up of intensity. This may be catastrophic in a sense that the Pacific plate would then reach a no turn back point and pop up over the continental plate. Or quite possibly creating a sudden uplift (Ie new mountain range)

Would it not be absolutely crazy to live 500 miles inland of the west coast and all of a sudden discover one day that you have Ocean front property??

Thanks for the thread OP! As a native Washingtonian I can appreciate the input you have. Let me just add that the Nisqually quake was nothing.... we simply were not prepared... could you blame though? I was up on Snoqualami Ridge that day and started to feel sea-sick from the ground waves.... weird....

I also recall St Helens. I was 8yo out fishing for silvers in the PS that morning. We thought we heard dynamite explosions.... only to see the Plume minutes later. It was pretty awsome to behold!

Living atop a ticking time-bomb is rather thrilling to say the least

posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 10:09 AM
reply to post by Asktheanimals

Thank you for the responses! I have a habit of starting threads in the middle of the night (when I have the time to do it), so I that is why it is taking me a bit to answer.

This is what I have read about the plate movement regarding the Japan quake:

Japan's Earthquake Research Committee said the earthquake forced the North American plate eastward by about 66 feet (20 meters), reported Japan's national broadcast agency, NHK. The entire island of Honshu was moved about 8 feet (2.4 m) east, according to USGS scientists. Geologists in St. Louis reported that their city moved up and down a fraction of an inch during the quake, but too slowly for anyone to notice


The North American plate is the same plate that the North American continent sits on, so yes I believe this HAS to have an impact. When you DO step back and look at the bigger picture this way you quickly come to realize that we live in a closed ecosystem and everything affects each other in some way.

posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 10:15 AM
reply to post by forall2see

I had the same observations, I am imagine many people have. It just makes sense that those are the obvious two options for the cause and affect that HAS to take place. I spoke about it in I think my washington thread and that historically option B is the way it has gone.

I was here for the nisqually quake too and my first reaction was first big quake. Then a bit of fear (I was still young). I happened to be down near the skagit river where we were basically on sand so the ground was very fluid! The cars in the parking lot actually moved out of thier spots. It was right after I had discovered the USGS site so I was the first one to pull up the info. I was SO hooked after that.

As to Helens...well, that is something else we share then. You'll find a link in my sig line to a story I wrote about the experience (the day my world shook).

Amazing planet we live on. We can never take it for granted!!

posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 10:31 AM
reply to post by westcoast


Stars & Flags, westcoast - you've hit it out of the park again!

Excellent theory and immaculate data to back it up.

As an ex-Ellensburg Bulldog, we have keen interest in what you are speaking of, even though high school was many, many years ago.

Kittitas County sits in the geographical center of the State of Washington, so those hot springs may indicate seismically active areas too close for comfort for our friends and neighbors still in the valley.

The "straight line" that begins at the northern portion of the Washington State and continues through mid-Oregon is disconcerting, to say the least - if it is indicative of a potential "break point."

We will be watching this thread with interest and we'll see what we can add to your fine article.

In Peace & Light

posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 10:42 AM
Wow, Westcoast... WOW!!!!

You did a fantastic job bringing it all together and it absolutely makes sense!

I also wanted to throw out that here in Utah, we have a lot of hotsprings as well. In addition to that, when driving north of Salt Lake City on Interstate 15, which goes up into Idaho... all along the highway are lava rock formations that are constantly growing and coming up out of the ground. Obviously, something underground has to be feeding the hotsprings and creating the lava rocks. Which I believe, goes hand in hand with your theory.

Now adding to that, when you look at the map of earthquakes on the USGS website for the Western United States, there definitely appears to be a pattern. A pattern that goes along with your theory.


With that said, I appreciate science and studies and everything we have learned so far, from them. But the fact of the matter is, no one has been to the core of our earth. Until that happens, no one can state with fact, that all of these things are not interconnected. I believe that they are indeed all connected. Cause and effect.

Thank you, WC for putting this all together and sharing!

posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 10:46 AM

Originally posted by kro32
Nice detailed post and i'm happy to answer one of your questions. If your correct and the whole subduction zone goes it will have little effect on the calderas or volcanoes. The caldera's and the composite cone volcano's tend to have alot of andesitic-to-rhyolitic magma which is highly viscous meaning it doesn't flow very well. This type of magma also tends to be far more explosive due to the mixture of silica-rich dissolved gases.

If this super earthquake were to happen and rip the volcano's or calderas open right down to the chamber you would have some lava flow but unless there is enough explosivity in the gas content it will not cause an eruption. And if you've ever seen rhyolitic lava flow, there's some cool pictures of Mt. St. Helens rhyolitic lava flows, you'd see they don't pose much of a danger. Kinda like taking a bottle of honey out of the fridge and turning it upside down.

Earthquakes do not cause volcanic eruptions. It's the movement of magma and gas that causes earthquakes around the volcano so there is little danger of that. However I think a quake like this would be enough to worry about.

Don't forget to take into consideration what can happen underground, that we may not be able to see or monitor, if such an event were to happen. The movement of water underground. Especially along the Cascadia Zone.

If that were to hit flows of lava or a plume... well, I just don't have words.

posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 11:57 AM
reply to post by westcoast

love this ,,,well thought out thread...

living "where" i do,,,,, im a little more concerned ..................

ohh boy... my BOB doesnt have a boat.. or lava resistant underwear...


posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 12:15 PM
Great post!! I also live in the Pacific Northwest (wa) and this is something very interesting to think about. I definitely know there has been more seismic activity in the last few months than i have ever seen before in this area. I will keep my eyes peeled on this post to see what you all have to say THANK YOU!!

posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 12:32 PM
Great post westcoast, this is the type of thing that brought me to ATS in the first place. I don't have much to offer other than it making sense. I look forward to reading the responses of those more edumucated than me on earthquakes and Yellowstone.

posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 12:51 PM
reply to post by westcoast

We need more people who are able to look at things in this way. Most so-called experts are so focused, working by themselves in their own little corners, that they miss perhaps the most important 'big picture' in human history. We all know how things turn out when government agencies don't talk to each other. When a husband and wife stop talking, it's just as destructive. As a species, we need to communicate. If we don't, we risk overlooking things like this.
It reminds me of Matthew Broderick standing in a big hole in the ground, unable to see what he was looking at. It's only when the camera pans out that we see it's a massive footprint. Great job on panning the camera out, Westcoast... whether you're right or not, what you're doing here is an important part of science and gaining true knowledge of our world. After all, this planet we live on doesn't do things on a scale we can see as individuals. Quite often, we need to compile our observations to complete the puzzle. Recent generations have been the first with the technology to truly compile information on a global scale. Unfortunately, there are still very few people like you, who actually think to do so. Keep it up

posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 01:16 PM
Here are some pics of Mt St. Helens Seismograms......saw disturbance few days ago....might want to checkout....

April 14 Seismogram

April 14 Seismogram - Part 2 here is for today's seismogram of Mt St. Helens(Old Dome).....

April 17 Seismogram - Part 1

April 17 Seismogram - Part 2


What do you think?!?

posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 02:00 PM
reply to post by thorfourwinds

What a small world! I graduated from Ellensburg High School in 90. I still have family there.

Keep in mind that I am suggesting a system or network of 'funnels'( for lack of another scientific term) of magma in some form or another. If you read the last article on Yellowstone and look at the map, you will note that the different colors indicate different temps and fluid state. It could very well be that funnels that were once very molten are now either solid or close to solid, near the surface or far below; hence the varying temps at the hot springs. The 'pathways' of these 'funnels' don't necessarily indicate fault lines or areas of possible rupture, but rather indicators that perhaps all the hot spots of the states and perhaps the world are much more closely related than previously thought. This has implications on how we would look at seismic activity, fluid migration and eruption patterns.

edit on 17-4-2011 by westcoast because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 17 2011 @ 02:11 PM
reply to post by UtahRosebud

I knew I could count on one of my friends to bring this up! I was lying in bed trying to turn my brain off and go back to sleep a bit ago when our own little ring of fire here in the states came to me. It was all I could do to prevent myself from getting back up and posting more.

Yes...late last year, early this year some of us were noticing the very distinct ring of quakes in the pacific northwest. I will see if I can find a screen shot from one of the other threads later. But in essence, it was a clear red circle (current quakes on map) that circled pretty much the same area of the hot springs I marked on the map. I didn't even think of it while I was making the map....not for several hours later. You see, its things like that. This is what I am talking about. The big picture. Once you start looking you see even more patterns and random stuff that stood out to you at the time (or at least to me) but you just didn't quite know how it fit. I don't believe in coincidences like that. So what of all those little random quakes occuring above unknown fault lines? Perhaps they aren't from faults....but these funnels or plumes? Remember, these can be in an almost solid state, they are ancient, but they might still very well cause some settling and quakes from time to time.

I neglected in my OP to list my source for the hot springs:

Hot spring source

You are absolutely correct, Utahrosebud, there are MANY hot springs all over the place, certainly not just the ones I indicated. I admit that I am still not looking at the biggest picture there is to see, but it is widening.
If you just do a search for California, you'll see how many there are. Check out the temps!! Several sit at over 200 degrees. Washington has more than I realized, I found that out a few months ago when I searched it for the first time, several of them being close to my home.

I am glad you all (so far) appreciate the thread. I wasn't sure if I was getting my ideas across clearly or not.

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