State of Oregon seal State of Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries

Warner Valley, Lake County, Oregon. Image credit: Alex Lopez.

Warner Valley, Lake County, Oregon.

This week marks the anniversary of the January 26, 1700, Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake!

On January 26, 1700, a tsunami struck the coast of Japan without warning. No one in Japan felt the earthquake that caused it. Thousands of miles away, a very large earthquake (potentially as large as 9.2 magnitude) had ruptured the earth along the entire length of the 1,000 km (600 mi) long Cascadia Subduction Zone.

Since then, Cascadia has remained quiet, and until the 1980s, scientists did not believe Cascadia was capable of generating “great” earthquakes like those seen in Alaska in 1964 and Chile in 1960. Through Japan’s documentation of the “orphan” tsunami, oral histories of Pacific Northwest Native Peoples, and geologic observations from other subduction zone events, researchers found evidence of numerous great earthquakes and tsunamis along the Pacific Northwest coast.

Today, scientists continue advancing their understand of Cascadia to prepare for the next great earthquake and tsunami. DOGAMI is proud to be a part of this effort. Through collaboration with researchers, emergency managers, elected officials, volunteers, and the public, we strive to learn and educate in order to protect life and property from this natural hazard. Visit DOGAMI's Tsunami Clearinghouse at for more information.”



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