Living with Earthquakes

in the Pacific Northwest


Second Edition
Revised and Expanded


Living with Earthquakes
in the Pacific Northwest


Second Edition
Revised and Expanded


Robert S. Yeats

Oregon State University Press


The paper in this book meets the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the Council on Library Resources and the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials Z39.48-1984.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Living with earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest / Robert S. Yeats—2nd ed.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 0-87071-024-9 (alk. paper)

1. Earthquake hazard analysis—Northwest, Pacific. 2. Earthquakes—Safety measures. I. Title.

QE535.2.U6Y43 1998




© 1998, 2004 Robert S. Yeats

All rights reserved. Second edition 2004

Printed in the United States of America


Oregon State University Press

101 Waldo Hall

Corvallis OR 97331-6407

541-737-3166 • fax 541-737-3170






“And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah.”

Book of Zechariah 14:4-5,
issuing the world’s first earthquake forecast.
The new earthquake did not arrive until 31 B.C.,

about five hundred years later.


Preface vii

Part I. Introduction

Part II. Plates, Geologic Time, and Earthquakes

1. A Concept of Time

2. Plate Tectonics

3. Earthquake Basics

4. Cascadia

5. Earthquakes in the Juan de Fuca Plate

6. Earthquakes in the Crust: Closer to Home

7. Memories of the Future: The Uncertain Art
of Earthquake Forecasting

Part III. Shaky Ground and Big Waves

8. Solid Rock and Bowls of Jello

9. Tsunami!

Part IV. Prevention and Countermeasures

10. Earthquake Insurance: Hazards, Perils, Risks,
and Losses

11. Is Your Home Ready for an Earthquake?

12. Earthquake Design of Large Structures

13. The Federal Government and Earthquakes

14. The Role of State and Local Government

15. Preparing for the Next Earthquake

16. An Uncertain Appointment with a Restless Earth

Appendix A. Significant Historical Earthquakes
in the Pacific Northwest

Appendix B. Glossary

Appendix C. Credits

Appendix D. Sources of Information and Websites