Researchers: Fault off Oregon Coast Highly Active

August 29, 2008

Scientists at Oregon State University say a new analysis of a 200-mile-long fault line off the southern and central Oregon coast shows it is more active than the San Andreas Fault in California, blamed for the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

They say Blanco Transform Fault Zone likely won’t produce the catastrophic earthquake many predict for the Pacific Northwest. But they say an earthquake of magnitude 6.5 to 7.0, capable of inflicting heavy damage, is at least possible.

Results of the study appear in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

During the past 40 years there have been about 1,500 earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater along the Blanco Transform Fault Zone, and many thousands of smaller quakes.

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