Earthquake weather

It's 92 degrees outside and I've been sitting in the shade finishing my latest library book. It's called Cascadia's Fault: The Coming Earthquake and Tsunami That Could Devastate North America. The title might suggest a science fiction thriller, but it's really an exercise in scientific mystery solving.

The author, Jerry Thompson, is a journalist who's been following the tale of the Cascadia Fault "big one" for twenty-five years and I was fascinated by the sheer effort and expertise of the geoscientists who've discovered so much in so short a time. For years scientists believed that America's northwest coast was not an active earthquake zone, unlike it's southern neighbor. But thanks to the curiosity, single-mindedness, and continual digging—both literally and figuratively—of scientists around the globe, and to the fine record keeping of a Japanese mayor, we now know that the last Cascadia quake occurred January 28, 1700, generating a tsunami that flooded a castle moat in Tanabe, Japan, and ruined nearby paddies and fields of wheat.

These great quakes, estimated to be 9.0 or greater, have occurred approximately every 300 years, which means one could occur any time.

 As a former Californian and now 40-year Oregon resident I've been hearing about "the big one" for as long as I can remember. And after reading this book I can say that it's definitely coming. And I hope I'm somewhere else when it happens.

If you like science, or puzzles, or if you live on the northwest coast, you might want to read this book.

Cascadia's Fault: The Coming Earthquake and Tsunami That Could Devastate North America
Author: Jerry Thompson, with introduction by Simon Winchester
2011, Counterpoint, Berkeley, CA