Evidence for Great Holocene Earthquakes Along the Outer Coast of Washington State

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Science  22 May 1987:
Vol. 236, Issue 4804, pp. 942-944
DOI: 10.1126/science.236.4804.942


Intertidal mud has buried extensive, well-vegetated lowlands in westernmost Washington at least six times in the past 7000 years. Each burial was probably occasioned by rapid tectonic subsidence in the range of 0.5 to 2.0 meters. Anomalous sheets of sand atop at least three of the buried lowlands suggest that tsunamis resulted from the same events that caused the subsidence. These events may have been great earthquakes from the subduction zone between the Juan de Fuca and North America plates.