Triggering of earthquakes on upper plate faults during and shortly after recent great (M>8.0) subduction thrust earthquakes raises concerns about earthquake triggering following Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes. Of particular regard to Cascadia was the previously noted, but only qualitatively identified, clustering of M>~6.5 crustal earthquakes in the Puget Sound region between about 1200–900 cal yr B.P. and the possibility that this was triggered by a great Cascadia thrust subduction thrust earthquake, and therefore portends future such clusters. We confirm quantitatively the extraordinary nature of the Puget Sound region crustal earthquake clustering between 1200–900 cal yr B.P., at least over the last 16,000. We conclude that this cluster was not triggered by the penultimate, and possibly full-margin, great Cascadia subduction thrust earthquake. However, we also show that the paleoseismic record for Cascadia is consistent with conclusions of our companion study of the global modern record outside Cascadia, that M>8.6 subduction thrust events have a high probability of triggering at least one or more M>~6.5 crustal earthquakes.
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Crustal earthquake triggering by pre-historic great earthquakes on subduction zone thrusts