Stress origins and earthquake potentials in Cascadia

Journal of Geophysical Research


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Focal mechanism solutions for shallow earthquakes throughout the Cascadia plate system indicate that the primary regional stress is northerly compression, even though the Juan de Fuca plate generally is thought to be subducting N50??E. This compressional stress is pervasive throughout the Gorda-Juan de Fuca-Explorer plate system and much of the adjoining section of North American plate. Modeling, using a discrete element code, shows that this stress primarily is due to the Pacific plate being driven into the Gorda block and Juan de Fuca plate (at the Mendocino and Blanco fracture zones). This plate collision causes compression of the offshore plate system northward through the 45??W trending Vancouver Island and leads to transfer of northerly compression into the overriding plate. The northerly compression in the Cascadia plate system has caused large, crustal earthquakes in the regions of Vancouver and northern California and may be capable of causing large earthquakes also in and offshore of Washington and Oregon. -from Author

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Stress origins and earthquake potentials in Cascadia
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume 94
Issue B3
Year Published 1989
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Geophysical Research
First page 3076
Last page 3088