The Pacific Northwest; linkage between earthquake and volcano hazards

Earthquakes & Volcanoes (USGS)


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AS the title of the magazine Earthquake and Volcanoes suggests, these two geological phenomena are often closely associated. Earthquakes frequently precede volcanic eruptions, and volcanoes are often sources of small to intermediate size earthquakes resulting from the movement of magma within the volcano's plumbing system. In the Pacific Northwest, the association between earthquakes and volcanoes is much more fundamental- they both arise from the same large-scale interaction between two plates of the Earth's crust. The oceanic Juan de Fuca plate is being shoved beneath the edge of the continental North American plate in the process known as subduction. The result is the Cascade chain of volcanoes, the potential for very large earthquakes along the coastal margin, and the generation of stresses that produce other regional earthquakes.

The Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington, and northern California) is experiencing rapid industrial and population growth. The same conditions that make the region attractive- close proximity to both mountains and oceans, volcanoes and spectacular inland waters- also present significant geologic hazards that are easily overlooked in the normal timetable of human activities. The catastrophic eruption of Mount St. Helens 10 years ago serves as a dramatic reminder of the forces of nature that can be unleashed through volcanism. other volcanoes such as  mount Rainier, a majestic symbol of Washington, or Mount hood in Oregon, lie closer to population centers and could present far greater hazards should they become active. Earthquakes may affect even larger regions, prodcuging more cumulative damage. 

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The Pacific Northwest; linkage between earthquake and volcano hazards
Series title Earthquakes & Volcanoes (USGS)
Volume 22
Issue 5
Year Published 1990
Language English
Publisher U.S Geological Survey
Description 7 p.
First page 219
Last page 225
Country United States
Other Geospatial Pacific Northwest
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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