Experts are aware of two impending huge earthquakes along the west coast of America, but now a scientist has said that one could trigger the other. One of the quakes will be along the San Andreas fault in California. Experts have for some time been warning of the Big One – a huge earthquake measuring at least a magnitude 7.9, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS) – as centuries’ worth of tension builds along the fault lines beneath California.
Another likely huge tremor will come from the Cascadia Subduction Zone, further north along the west coast of the US, which could release a magnitude-9.0 tremor.
The Cascadia subduction zone is thought to generate a huge quake every 200 to 530 years. The last one arrived in 1700.
When that earthquake hit, the fault slipped by 20 metres and ruptured for 620 miles down the west coast of the US and Canada.
Such was the power of the quake, a tsunami hit the coast of Japan more than 3,000 miles away.
While the two potential earthquakes are not typically associated, one scientist, who is due to present his findings on December 13, has stated the massive tremors could trigger one another.
If that were to happen, there would be sheer destruction along the entire west coast of the US, crippling Washington, Oregon and California, along with the southern tip of British Columbia, Canada.
Chris Goldfinger of Oregon State University told Jefferson Public Radio: “Cascadia is big enough by itself.
“But if you add in San Francisco and the North Coast, it is literally almost a grade B movie scenario that people don’t want to think about that much.”
Mr Goldfinger and his team have been analysing the history of the two earthquakes, and has said there is evidence they go off around similar times.
He continued: “I’ve been working on the chronology for San Andreas and Cascadia and some of the events I can’t really tell them apart in time.
“They seem to have happened at more or less the same time. When you have two big faults that connect directly, there’s a pretty high probability they’re going to interact in some way.
“So one fault triggering another, or even becoming synchronised with the other for a period of time, is not a fantastical scenario.