UBC Professor in new book about the Cascadia Subduction Zone

Professor Barbara Lence, a faculty member of the Civil Engineering department at your university, is among the scientists and engineers featured in a new book about the Cascadia Subduction Zone published by HarperCollins in Canada and Counterpoint Press in the U.S. in April 2011.

The Cascadia Subduction Zone is a disaster waiting to happen.

This hidden crack in the floor of the Pacific Ocean—from Vancouver Island to northern California—is the tectonic boundary between two plates of the Earth’s crust that are crashing together. Thirty years ago many scientists were puzzled by the lack of large earthquakes. Some even thought the zone might be aseismic—basically quake-free and nothing to worry about.

Now they know better. Now they know that Cascadia’s fault has ruptured from end-to-end (at magnitude 9 or higher) 19 times in the last 10,000 years.

These were monster quakes just like the one that wrecked Sumatra in 2004 and the one that hit Japan in March 2011.

When it breaks again, Cascadia’s fault will send crippling shockwaves across a far wider area than any of the California quakes you’ve ever heard about, slamming five cities at the same time—Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle, Portland and Sacramento—along with dozens of smaller towns and coastal villages along the way. The tsunami generated by a Cascadia quake will hit Hawaii, Alaska, Japan, and the entire Pacific Rim. It could happen again tonight.

Written by a journalist who has been following this story for twenty-five years, Cascadia’s Fault is a history and a cautionary tale of the West Coast’s most dangerous place—and the scientists who are solving its deadly mysteries.