(ORDO NEWS) — A new geological hazard has emerged off the Oregon coast as scientists warn of a possible magnitude 9 earthquake that could be caused by loss of “lubrication” fluid at a depth of about 80 kilometers in the Cascadia subduction zone.
A team of scientists named this hot spring hole “Pythian Oasis” after an ancient Greek oracle.
Cascadia, which spans several major cities including Seattle and Portland, Oregon, and touches parts of Northern California and Vancouver Island, Canada, is a subduction zone where two tectonic plates collide.
Juan de Fuca, a small oceanic plate, is being pushed under the N American Plate into the continental US. This can cause earthquakes, which in some cases can be very destructive.
A recent analysis by the University of Washington found that the chemically distinct fluid is a kind of “lubricant” that allows the plates to move smoothly.
However, if the fluid is lost, it will increase the friction between the oceanic and continental plates, which can lead to devastating consequences.
Studies also show that the Cascadia fault ruptured in 1700 with a magnitude of 9, which was about 30 times stronger than the largest predicted earthquake in San Andreas.
This circumstance raises serious concerns among scientists that the next earthquake in Cascadia may occur at any time and have serious consequences for the region.
If the liquid in the “Pythian Oasis” dries up, it could lead to an earthquake of magnitude 9. The possible occurrence of such an earthquake could have catastrophic consequences for the Cascadia region and its people.
According to scientists, a magnitude 9 earthquake in the subduction zone of Cascadia could trigger a tsunami up to 30 meters high. This could flood the Oregon coast, as well as Seattle and Portland, and cause significant destruction.
In addition, there are many active volcanoes in Cascadia, such as Mount Sengale, Mount Rainier and others, which can wake up as a result of an earthquake and cause new eruptions.
Scientists are calling for further exploration and monitoring of the “Pythian oasis” and the Cascadia subduction zone in general. This will help to identify potential hazards and take measures to protect the population of the region.
There is also a need to improve earthquake and tsunami warning systems in the Cascadia region. Existing systems are not always effective and may fail to warn the population of an impending threat.
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