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How to Date an Earthquake

The Orphan Tsunami of 1700: Japanese Clues to a Parent Earthquake in North America by Brian F. Atwater

Reviewed by Doug Brown

"Over the last thirty years, evidence has been slowly amassing for recurrent major earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest (what geologists call the 'Cascadia' region). Particularly in coastal regions, every few hundred years there appears to be sudden subsidence, resulting in drowned forests. In several places along the Oregon and Washington coast roots of these dead forests can be seen in outcroppings. In the 1990s, the most recent of these subsidences was radiocarbon dated to the years 1699-1700. However, while the dead trees certainly pointed towards major quakes, they did not in themselves constitute a smoking gun." Read the entire Powells.com review.

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