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Cascadia Quake Simulations

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posted on Dec, 4 2012 @ 09:47 PM

The slow slip and tremor events in Cascadia are being studied by Stanford geophysics Professor Paul Segall. Segall's group uses computational models of the region to determine whether the cumulative effects of many small events can trigger a major earthquake. "You have these small events every 15 months or so, and a magnitude 9 earthquake every 500 years.

We need to known whether you want to raise an alert every time one of these small events happens," Segall said. "We're doing sophisticated numerical calculations to simulate these slow events and see whether they do relate to big earthquakes over time. What our calculations have shown is that ultimately these slow events do evolve into the ultimate fast event, and it does this on a pretty short time scale

Unfortunately, so far Segall's group has not seen any obvious differences in the numerical simulations between the average slow slip event and those that directly precede a big earthquake. The work is still young, and Segall noted that the model needs refinement to better match actual observations and to possibly identify the signature of the event that triggers a large earthquake. "We're not so confident in our model that public policy should be based on the output of our calculations, but we're working in that direction," Segall said.


Stanford Simultion Page

Hi there earth quake watchers. This research look interesting. Don't remember reading much of slow slip earthquakes. Would be quite a breakthrough to see somebody tie together slow-slip and small scale earthquake into a predictive model for major quakes. I was somewhat surprised that he was lacking in earth quake data to work these models I thought we were over flowing with earth quake data but apparently not so much at least in this specialized area.

The source article does also discuss two other current areas of research in earth quakes.


posted on Dec, 5 2012 @ 02:04 AM
I have seen data on the last time the Cascadia subduction zone had a major quake and, if repeated today, it would wipe out hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people and destroy most of the cities along the coast where it is active.

If I remember right there are trees under 30 feet of water that used to be on dry land. A quake of that magnitude would make the San Andreas fault look like a small rift in a sandbox.

A lot of the data that has been found about the last big quake hundreds of years ago was derived from Asian tsunami records. The size of the tsunami as it hit across the Pacific enabled geologists to gauge the magnitude of the quake that caused it on our side of the pond.

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