While we cannot predict earthquakes, we can use scenarios, maps and other tools to estimate how they may affect Cascadia.
Scenarios tell the earthquake story
CREW has produced three reports that detail in narrative form how each kind of Cascadia earthquake (shallow, deep and Cascadia subduction zone) has or would unfold throughout the region. Download the reports here.
Maps provide a picture of past and future events
Several kinds of maps show how past earthquakes affected Cascadia and how future events could impact our region. ShakeMaps are near real-time maps of ground motion and shaking intensity following significant earthquakes. ShakeMaps of earthquakes in the Cascadia region are available from the U.S. Geological Survey. ShakeMaps also can be created to characterize potential future events for planning purposes.
Hazard maps and other tools
Earthquake hazard maps assist engineers in designing buildings, bridges, highways, and utilities that will withstand shaking from earthquakes. Local governments use these maps to create and update building codes that help keep people safe. Go to all maps.
- Hazard maps for the United States and Canada show the potential for ground shaking from earthquakes on a national scale. The scale does not allow them to be used to determine how a particular house or other building would fare during an earthquake.
- Some state and local agencies produce higher-resolution maps that show in more detail how ground shaking will affect residents and business owners in a given area.
- Reports are available that document the people, businesses and other community assets in earthquake-prone areas of Washington as well as tsunami-prone areas of coastal Oregon and Washington. Learn more about societal risk from earthquakes.
My Hazards Awareness Map: Learn about natural hazards in your neighborhood (California Emergency Management Agency)
California Geological Survey:
City of Portland maps by tax parcel (search by address; go to Maps/Hazard to see earthquake, landslide, flood hazards)
Interpretive map series (Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries)
Washington State Department of Natural Resources:
More information about earthquake hazard maps:
U.S. Geological Survey:
Earthquake Hazard Maps and Calculations (Natural Resources Canada)
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