Fukushima Caused Cracks in the Ocean Floor

Scientists who are studying the Fukushima earthquake have uncovered data that predicts a “big one” in the Pacific Northwest, along the coasts of Washington, Oregon and British Columbia.

The Fukushima quake was precipitated by what is called the “Tohoku area” of underwater plates. On the Weatherbug site, Sandi Doughton quotes earthquake expert John Anderson as saying, “The Cascadia subduction zone can be seen as a mirror image of the Tohoku area.” When Anderson compiled ground-motion data from the Japan quake and overlaid it on a map of the Pacific Northwest, which has a similar fault lying offshore, the two faults dovetailed almost exactly.

The Northwest’s only nuclear-power plant is the 28-year-old Columbia Generating Station, which has a license to operate through 2023. Geologists have discovered several new faults running through the area, capable of generating earthquakes as big as magnitude 7.5.

Submarine images have revealed that the Fukushima quake opened up cracks in the ocean floor as big as 6 feet wide. What effect this may have on future quakes in the area is unknown.

Coincidentally, shortly before the quake, researchers had taken photos of the same area of the seafloor where the crust would later rupture, leading to a tsunami that killed about 20,000 people. This meant that the seabed changes could be documented.

On the MSNBC website, Stephanie Pappas quotes seismologist Takeshi Tsuji as saying that his team of researchers saw open fissures in “many places,” but how these cracks may effect future earthquakes along the same fault lines is unknown.

Read the original source: http://www.unknowncountry.com/news/fukushima-caused-cracks-ocean-floor#ixzz24jfASML0

Read the original source: http://www.unknowncountry.com/news/fukushima-caused-cracks-ocean-floor#ixzz24jf4Q0t4

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