Earthquake study could make Pacific Northwest safer

The North Coast Citizen | 4/16/2019 | Staff
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Findings by a team led by an Oregon State University geotechnical engineer are paving the way toward engineering techniques that could keep Pacific Northwest residents safer during the eventual Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake.

Ben Mason of the OSU College of Engineering led a National Science Foundation-supported team that traveled to Indonesia to study the aftermath of the magnitude 7.5 Palu-Donggala quake that occurred in September 2018.

Team - Report - Geotechnical - Extreme - Events

The team’s report has just been published by the Geotechnical Extreme Events Recognizance Association, which organized the team.

The Indonesia earthquake killed more than 4,000 people, a death toll that includes nearly 700 whose remains have not been found, many of them entombed by landslide debris.

Earthquake - Landslides - Oregon - Rest - Northwest

“The earthquake caused many landslides, which are important for Oregon and the rest of the Northwest,” said Mason, associate professor of civil and construction engineering and also assistant dean of OSU’s Honors College. “Many people in our field are calling the Palu-Donggala quake one of the most significant earthquake case histories for landslides in recent memory. We expect much of the coastal range to experience landslides during the Cascadia earthquake.”

Roughly 85 miles off the Pacific shoreline, the Cascadia Subduction Zone is a 600-mile fault running from northern California to British Columbia. Over the last 10,000 years, there have been 41 earthquakes along the fault; the time between quakes ranges from 190 to 1,200 years, with the last one an estimated magnitude 9.0 temblor in 1700.

Geotechnical - Extreme - Events - Recognizance - Association

The Geotechnical Extreme Events Recognizance Association, known as GEER, is a 30-year-old volunteer organization of geotechnical engineers, engineering geologists and earth scientists whose mission is to obtain post-disaster information that can advance research and improve engineering practice.

GEER researchers studied five different quake-caused landslides and found unlined irrigation canals – canals without any bed barrier to prevent seepage – were an exacerbating factor. Such canals also exist throughout agricultural...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The North Coast Citizen
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