Science Pub

Science Pub – Mission Theater

Serial Crimes of Subduction: Giant Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Oregon’s Past and Future

with Brian Atwater and Yumei Wang

Mission Theater & Pub, 1624 NW Glisan, Portland, Oregon, USA
Tuesday, 20 October, 7–9 p.m.

Science Pub–Mission Theater is open to everyone; no reservations necessary. Doors open at 5 p.m., and there is a US$2 suggested cover charge. Come early for food and drinks!

On a calm night in 1700, a tsunami ran ashore in Japan without an advance-warning earthquake. Samurai, merchants, and peasants wrote of the mystery, which would remain unsolved for nearly three centuries. Today, there is little doubt that the tsunami originated from North America during a giant earthquake at the Cascadia subduction zone, an active fault that slants beneath southern British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and northern California.

The next giant Cascadia earthquake will shake large parts of the Pacific Northwest. Its tsunami will likely take more lives than the shaking, which in Oregon alone may damage more than 1,000 schools and emergency facilities. In Portland, rebuilding and economic recovery will depend largely on the seismic resilience of electrical, oil, and gas facilities along the lower Willamette River.

Come to this Science Pub to find out more about our earthquakes and tsunamis, just how much risk we face, and what is being done to prepare.

Brian Atwater is a USGS geologist based at the University of Washington. He is lead author of The Orphan Tsunami of 1700, describing North American and Japanese clues to the 1700 Cascadia earthquake. His current earthquake and tsunami research focuses on Indonesia and the Caribbean.

Yumei Wang is a geotechnical engineer at the Oregon Dept. of Geology and Mineral Industries who seeks to reduce future losses from earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis. She made the nation’s first statewide estimates of future earthquake damage, and her influence on public policy includes improvements to the seismic safety of schools and the reliability of energy facilities.

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