Earthquake Safety

Earthquake Safety at the University of Oregon

Are you ready to drop, cover and hold?

Shake It Up: What you need to know about the Cascadia earthquake

A training and Q&A for UO students, faculty, and staff featuring a panel discussion by seismologists Dr. Lucy Jones (Caltech) and Prof. Doug Toomey (UO Earth Sciences), as well as Krista Dillon (Director of Operations for UO Safety and Risk Services), sponsored by the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics

Oregon ShakeOut!




More Info

Oregon lies at a convergent continental boundary where two tectonic plates are colliding. The Cascadia Subduction Zone is actually a 600 mile long earthquake fault stretching from offshore northern California to southern British Columbia.

This fault builds up stress for hundreds of years as the Juan de Fuca and North America Plates push against each other. Eventually, the two plates rip apart, creating some of the largest earthquakes and tsunamis on earth. Where the Juan de Fuca oceanic plate and the North American continental plate meet is called a subduction zone, because the denser Juan de Fuca Plate is being pulled under North America. The Juan de Fuca Plate is moving to the northeast at about an inch a year as the North American Plate moves west. The Oregon coastline is actually bulging upward from the two plates pushing against each other.

There are over 1000 earthquakes over magnitude 1.0 in Washington and Oregon every year, with at least two dozen being large enough to be felt. Approximately 17 people have lost their lives due to earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest.

Since 1872, there have been 20 damaging earthquakes in Washington and Oregon. The Pacific coast poses special risk from tsunamis associated with a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. In addition to Subduction zone earthquakes, Oregon is also susceptible to crustal earthquakes. The two largest earthquakes in recent years in Oregon, Scotts Mills, (magnitude 5.6) and the Klamath Falls, main shocks (magnitude 5.9 and magnitude 6.0) of 1993 were crustal earthquakes.

Read more at the Oregon Emergency Management Earthquake Hazards page.