Cascadia Earthquake Part 5: Roads, Energy and Water



Today is the final chapter for my anaylsis. Next week I will bring you an interview, and several podcasts of ideas we can do in the community.

Click here for Part 1: Introduction, maps and fuel

Click here for Part 2: Timelines, Japan, food and Bridges Click here for

Click here for Part 3: Coastal Communities and Critical Buildings

Click here for Part 4: Land, Sea and Air

Click here for the Oregon Resilience Report.The page numbers are the electric (vs. print out) number and not the true page numbers.

Local Roads and Streets

“In addition to local roads and streets, Oregon has thousands of miles of forest roads, and it may be possible to use these for low-volume, temporary local detours in the event of a major disaster. Many of these forest roads are privately owned and will also be subject to significant damage in a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake. Nonetheless, such local-road detours will likely serve emergency responders, repair crews, and vehicles transporting food and other critical supplies, and will therefore play an important role as recovery efforts progress and a minimum level of service is restored.” Pg156

Chart of when they would like to be up and running. Page 157

“Analysis suggests that the longer the state delays increasing its investment in bridge and slope strengthening, the greater the cost and potential adverse effects an earthquake will have on the state’s economy. If risks related to bridges and slopes are left unaddressed, the odds grow every day that we will be unprepared for an increasingly likely major earthquake.” pg162

“Several other proposed local alternative routes are included in the Local Agency Alternatives to State Highway Lifeline Routes, a supplement to this Report. These routes will be studied at a later time as possible alternatives to state highway lifeline routes.”      Pg 172


Oregon’s critical energy infrastructure hub (CEI Hub) covers a six-mile stretch on the lower Willamette River between the southern tip of Sauvie Island and the Fremont Bridge on U.S. Highway 30. This relatively small area in Portland is the site of liquid fuel, natural gas, and electrical infrastructure and facilities; it is also an area with significant seismic hazard. The energy sector facilities in the CEI Hub include:

• All of Oregon’s major liquid fuel port terminals.

• Liquid fuel transmission pipelines and transfer stations.

• Natural gas transmission pipelines.

• A liquefied natural gas storage facility.

• High voltage electric substations and transmission lines.

• Electrical substations for local distribution.

More than 90 percent of Oregon’s refined petroleum products come from the Puget Sound area of Washington State. Oregon imports the liquid fuel by pipeline and marine vessels; it passes through the CEI Hub before it is distributed throughout Oregon to the end users. (One large consumer is the Portland International Airport.) In addition, a portion of the state’s natural gas fuel supply passes through the CEI Hub; and a high voltage electrical transmission corridor both crosses the area and supplies power to it. pg180

The liquid fuel pipeline was largely constructed in the 1960s when the regional seismic hazards were unknown and state-of-practice construction techniques did not include any reference to seismic standards. The regional seismic hazards are now known to be significant, and the soils at the river crossings are known to be susceptible to liquefaction and lateral spreading. The 1960s vintage pipeline design did not consider ground movements from lateral spreading at river crossings or other earthquake-induced stresses on the pipelines that may cause damage and multiple breaks. A break in the pipe would have a significant impact on all of the petrochemical facilities in the CEI Hub and could result in a statewide fuel shortage.pg184 Continue reading

Cascadia Earthquake: Part 4 Land, Sea and Air



The next one hundred pages will be in article form.  I will draw out the important parts, and may comment of a few. 

Click here for the Oregon Resilience Plan

The page numbers are the electric (vs. print out) number and not the true page numbers.


  •  Our knowledge of the locations of faults and the geological history of major events in Oregon is      very recent. Although Oregon has low seismicity in comparison to California and Washington, there is potential for less frequent—but much larger and more damaging—earthquakes than the crustal earthquakes that have occurred regularly in those states. Oregon has not yet seen the effect of a large damaging earthquake, and ODOT has so far expended minimal resources on  seismic retrofitting. As a result, much of Oregon’s highway system will not be usable immediately after a major seismic event. Pg 125

 Great photos of bridge damage on pages 127 through 130

The World has Not Seen

“Oregon, or even the entire nation, has never witnessed a disaster of this magnitude in modern history; therefore, we can only speculate about how this event will impact Oregonians.

 “There will not be enough firefighters to assist every household or business, nor enough medical staff to help every injured person, nor enough police officers to go door to door reminding people to be calm and quickly move to higher ground to avoid the oncoming tsunami.” Page 130 Continue reading

Cascadia Earthquake Part 3: Coastal Communities and Critical Buildings


tsunamijpg-0168170d5074aa36_largeRunning time:  55 min.

Below you can find Part 1 and 2.

The page numbers are the electric (vs. print out) number and not the true page numbers.



Today we focus on the Coastal Communities and Critical buildings.  Such as schools, government buildings and hospitals.

Picture of Seaside pg72

Click here for the link to the Oregon Resilience Plan. These podcast are based off that report.

Coastal Communities

“The vulnerability of coastal communities to tsunami hazards varies, with the most concentrated

exposure being on the northern Oregon coast (as indicated in Figure 3.3). Within the tsunami inundation zone, practically all of the 22,000 permanent residents — along with an equal or greater number of second home owners — who survive the tsunami will be instantly displaced (Wood, 2007).

The visitor population presents a great challenge, because visitors tend to congregate in the tsunami inundation zone and have the least knowledge of where and how to evacuate. Moreover, those that survive will put extreme pressure on local relief efforts, which must provide for their initial welfare.” pg73

Graph of Land in Danger Zone Pg 75 Continue reading

Cascadia Earthquake: Part 2 Timelines, Japan, Food and Bridges


1200px-HawthorneBridge-PanoRunning time: 1 hour 3 min.

Click here for Part 1:Introduction, maps and fuel

Today we go over the timeline of past great earthquakes, link between Japan and Oregon, Infrastructure/Risk.  The page numbers are the electric (vs. print out) number and not the true page numbers.

Oregon Resilience Plan—please click and follow along.


“Oregon’s buildings, transportation network, utilities and population are simply not prepared for such an event. Were it to occur today, thousands of Oregonians would die, and economic losses would be at least $32 billion.” Pg 26

 Intervals of Great Quakes

The time interval between previous earthquakes has varied from a few decades to many centuries, but most of the past intervals have been shorter than the 313 years since the last event. It is simply not scientifically feasible to predict, or even estimate. when the next Cascadia earthquake will occur, but the calculated odds that a Cascadia earthquake will occur in the next 50 years range from 7-15 percent for a great earthquake affecting the entire Pacific Northwest to about 37 percent for a very large earthquake affecting southern Oregon and northern California. Pg 30

The simulation shows that Oregon would experience shaking very similar to the shaking that northern Japan endured in 2011. As indicated in Figure 1.4, areas along Oregon’s coast would experience severe to violent shaking, while cities along the I-5 corridor would experience strong or very strong shaking. East of the Cascades, shaking would be light to moderate. In all areas, the strong shaking would last from two to four minutes. Pg 31

Oregon’s Infrastructure and Risk

This means that the majority of buildings in Oregon have not been designed to resist the shaking from a magnitude 9.0 Cascadia earthquake. This widespread vulnerability of Oregon’s buildings is grimly illustrated in the Statewide Seismic Needs Assessment completed by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) in 2007.pg38

Of the 2,567 highway bridges in the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) system, 982 were built without seismic considerations, and of the rest, only 409 were designed specifically with consideration of Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes. Continue reading

Cascadia Earthquake: Part 1–Introduction, maps and fuel



What is it?

Oregon Resilience Plan


:”For more than 300 years, a massive geological fault off America’s northwest coast has lain dormant. Well into that interval, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark journeyed to the mouth of the Columbia River and returned to Washington, D.C. to tell the new United States about what came to be known as the Oregon Country. Tens of thousands of settlers crossed the Oregon Trail to establish communities throughout the Willamette Valley, in coastal valleys, and beside natural harbors. With the provisional government established in 1843 followed by statehood in 1859, the modern history of Oregon began. Industries rose and fell, cities and towns grew . . . and still the fault lay silent.” Page 9

Map of Impact Zone Pg 15

Intervals of earthquake activity

“The Cascadia Earthquake Scenario Task Group (Chapter One) reviewed current scientific research to  develop a detailed description of the likely physical effects of a great (magnitude 9.0) Cascadia subduction zone earthquake and tsunami, providing a scenario that other task groups used to assess impacts on their respective sectors.” pg 17 Continue reading