WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY


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Coping with earthquakes along the Pacific Northwest coast

Ground liquifaction during the March 11, 2011 Japanese earthquake John Ashford photo Oregon State University

Ground liquifaction during the March 11, 2011 Japanese earthquake
John Ashford photo
Oregon State University

Nobody likes to talk much about it, but Oregon is earthquake country. This more recent discovery came late in the historical understanding of where Oregon is situated in the grand geologic scheme of things.

Earthquakes off the Oregon Coast tend to be nastier than most. Lows of around 7.5 on the Richter up to 9.2. That is a LOT of ground movement. And of course, with Oregon’s high ground water table along our rain-drenched coastline, ground liquifaction suddenly becomes a major factor in any research into how to make our local infrastructure somehow survive such ground shaking.

Oregon State University has teamed up with other skilled academics and engineers to assess Oregon’s “readiness” for such events. But because Oregon’s infrastructure was built without really knowing how to even spell C-A-S-C-A-D-I-A, or what it meant for human civilization, Oregon buildings, roads, bridges, sewer and water plants, and more were built like they belonged in the middle of an Iowa farm field.

This new OSU partnership not only examines Oregon’s next “big one” (the last one was in 1700), but also how Oregon today can better cope with that event. It is the subject of this story that just appeared on the Hatfield Marine Science Center website. Click here.

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