Where Are The Largest Earthquakes Most Likely To Hit In Washington State?

Imagine my surprise when I moved to Seattle in the late 90's and felt my first earthquake.

By From USGS,http://landslides.usgs.gov/recent/archives/nisqually/images/Hwy302.jpgalso seehttp://landslides.usgs.gov/recent/archives/nisqually/report5.php, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=97344602
By From USGS,http://landslides.usgs.gov/recent/archives/nisqually/images/Hwy302.jpgalso seehttp://landslides.usgs.gov/recent/archives/nisqually/report5.php, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=97344602
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How Many Times A Week Does Washington State Have An Earthquake?

I'm from Washington State and I was unaware that Seattle and the surrounding area is a hotbed for earthquake activity but after all these years I am now fully aware of them

So why does Seattle get more earthquakes than the rest of Washington State?

By Alicia.iverson - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42905689
By Alicia.iverson - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=42905689
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Due to the Pacific Ring of Fire, Washington State is home to several fault lines that have the potential to cause significant damage to the state’s infrastructure and pose a threat to public safety over the next few decades.

Lex Luthor from the Superman movies talked all about creating new real estate from parts of the state falling into the ocean and he wasn't far off the mark of its possibility.

Washington State on average feels an earthquake daily, usually small tremors that mainly go unnoticed.

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Of all the fault lines in the state, the biggest one is the Cascadia subduction zone, which has been the focus of several studies since the 1980s.

By U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) - primary https://www.usgs.gov/media/images/subduction-zonejpgsecondary (en) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:JuandeFucasubduction.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2477698
By U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) - primary https://www.usgs.gov/media/images/subduction-zonejpgsecondary (en) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:JuandeFucasubduction.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2477698
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The Cascadia subduction zone extends from Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada to northern California. It is where the Juan de Fuca Plate, a small piece of the ocean floor, is slowly sliding underneath the North American Plate.

The Cascadia subduction zone has experienced several earthquakes in the past, including the 1700 earthquake which was the most damaging of the PNW earthquakes.

It's an earthquake fault that makes San Andreas look tiny...very tiny (weather.gov)
It's an earthquake fault that makes San Andreas look tiny...very tiny (weather.gov)
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The 1700 earthquake, which is estimated to have had a magnitude of 9.0, is the most powerful earthquake to have occurred in the region. It caused a tsunami that affected the entire Pacific coast, from Alaska to California.

Scientists predict that the Cascadia subduction zone is due for another major earthquake within the next 50 years, which could devastate the region.

As you can see, there is a reason why earthquake monitoring is such important work right here in the Pacific Northwest.

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