An ocean data buoy is alerting to an "event" in the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the west coast of Oregon. This is where a magnitude 9 earthquake hit in 1700.

According to the data buoy, the water column height (depth) fell sharply within minutes off the coast of Oregon, signaling the land beneath the ocean has suddenly "sunk."

Here are the graphs showing what the ocean data buoy recorded:
water column height
water column height
As of 0231:30, the initial water column height is 2738.80 Meters deep (8985.56 feet). Two minutes and thirty seconds later, that same water column height had dropped to 2738.66 Meters deep (8985.10 feet). Where did the four inches of water disappear to? Answer: The earth sunk; and continued to sink for the next several HOURS. As you can see from the second chart above, from 0230 GMT to 0600 GMT, the ocean continued to sink to 2737.7 meters deep (8981.95 feet). The buoy is too far away from shore to be affected by high/low tide, so where did the four feet of ocean water disappear to?

This means a Tectonic Plate in the Ocean named the "Juan de Fuca Plate" has made a sudden, eastward movement and slipped beneath another Tectonic Plate named the "North American Plate." This type of event is usually followed by a massive upward movement of the North American Plate causing a very severe earthquake.

Here's a map of the relevant Tectonic Plates:

tectonic plates
In the year 1700, a similar movement of plates is believed to have been the cause of a Magnitude 9.0 earthquake, which devastated the west coast of north America, and generated an ocean Tsunami that washed inland upwards of ten MILES!

Four meager feel of water?

Lest you think that four feet of ocean depth is nothing to be concerned about, be reminded that the entire column of water . . . all 8985 feet of it . . . is what dropped four feet. And it did so over an area several miles wide!

When the tectonic plate snaps back upward, it can launch that entire 8985 foot column of water upward and toward the shore!

As the continental shelf rises toward the shore (the ocean gets more shallow) that 8985 foot column of water starts accumulating upon itself as it moves toward shore, becoming one massive wave, perhaps 45-50 feet tall, that hits the shore for twenty minutes!

Now do you see why this is a big deal?

If such a thing were to happen today, hundreds-of-thousands of people would be killed as a fifteen meter (45 foot) wall of water came ashore well inland passing Interstate 5 and destroying everything its path from the beach to Interstate 5. UPDATE NOTE: This claim comes from Kenneth Murphy, who directs the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) Region X, the division responsible for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska, who is quoted in The New Yorker magazine as saying, "Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast."

Here is a map of I-5, everything to the left of it (to the west) would be wiped out:

west coast damage tsunami
Mount Hood Volcano Can Be Triggered to Erupt

This type of Tectonic Movement has a direct effect upon the volcanos in the Cascadia Volcanic Chain, in particular, Mount Hood.

When the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate goes beneath the North American plate, it begins to get crushed. The heat from the friction of the two massive plates rubbing together, melts the Juan de Fuca plate into Magma (lava). UPDATE: The graphic below, taken from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) web site - and labelled "USGS" by them - explains how things work in this situation.

Directly next to the Cascadia Subduction Zone is the Mount Hood Volcano. Here's a graphic to show you the relevant details:

cascadia subduction zone
All along the Cascadia Subduction Zone are volcanoes. Most of them are inactive, but some are quite active. Here is a map of the volcanoes in the Cascade Mountains Range, so you have an understanding of the pressure relief valves (volcanoes) created over millions of years by these two tectonic plates scraping together. Mount Hood is to the right (east of) Portland, Oregon . . . UPDATE: The image below was provided by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) web site and is labelled by them.
Volcanoes cascadia zone
There is a magma tunnel leading directly from the Cascadia Subduction Zone straight up into Mount Hood! As the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate is being crushed (right now) it is melting into magma (lava). Whether or not there is enough magma to cause Mount Hood to erupt is unknown.

There has merely been an "event" in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Oregon in the Cascadia Subduction Zone. This is a very rare occurrence with serious implications. It is worthy of very close monitoring by persons in the potentially-affected areas. This event is a potential warning of a POSSIBLE pending large earthquake on the west coast. There could also be an eruption at Mount Hood.

Folks in Washington, Oregon and northern California as well as in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canda, should make certain they are prepared to take emergency action in the event a major quake does strike.

Full Historic Background and Detailed Explanation - Scary Stuff

Most people in the United States know just one fault line by name: the San Andreas, which runs nearly the length of California and is perpetually rumored to be on the verge of unleashing "the big one." That rumor is misleading, no matter what the San Andreas ever does. Every fault line has an upper limit to its potency, determined by its length and width, and by how far it can slip. For the San Andreas, one of the most extensively studied and best understood fault lines in the world, that upper limit is roughly an 8.2—a powerful earthquake, but, because the Richter scale is logarithmic, only six per cent as strong as the 2011 event in Japan.

Just north of the San Andreas, however, lies another fault line. Known as the Cascadia subduction zone, it runs for seven hundred miles off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, beginning near Cape Mendocino, California, continuing along Oregon and Washington, and terminating around Vancouver Island, Canada. The "Cascadia" part of its name comes from the Cascade Range, a chain of volcanic mountains that follow the same course a hundred or so miles inland. The "subduction zone" part refers to a region of the planet where one tectonic plate is sliding underneath (subducting) another. Tectonic plates are those slabs of mantle and crust that, in their epochs-long drift, rearrange the earth's continents and oceans. Most of the time, their movement is slow, harmless, and all but undetectable. Occasionally, at the borders where they meet, it is not. . . .

Read the rest of this terrifying detailed article in The New Yorker Magazine HERE

UPDATE: January 18, 2016 at 8:37 PM EST REBUTTAL TO "OregonLive" and KGW-TV, Portland Stories about our article:

This evening, SuperStation95 was made aware of two stories published by local media outlets in Oregon which call into question the validity of our report above. The first story, written by Laura Frazier, appeared on the web site OregonLive.com (HERE) which, in relevant part claimed:
Claims that recent changes in the height of ocean waters near Oregon are signaling an earthquake is coming are false, according to the National Weather Service.

A story posted online stated that an ocean data buoy located off the coast of Oregon had reported a rapid change in the water's height on Sunday. The story continued to say that the drop could be attributed to a shifting tectonic plate located in the Cascadia subduction zone, and that an earthquake would follow.

Laurel McCoy, a meterologist with the National Weather Service, said the agency looked at the data for the buoy mentioned in the story, which is located west of Astoria. The data showed "the natural fluctuation" of the ocean's tides, and is nothing out of the ordinary, she said.
SuperStation95's story utilized graphs taken directly from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - National Data Buoy Center web site -- a government-run web site! The graphics clearly document exactly what we reported!

In fact, the reason this story first caught our attention was because Data Buoy #46404 went into "Event" mode, flashing an "ALERT" signal on the National Data Buoy web site.

The OregonLive story quotes Laura McCoy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service who stated there is "nothing out of the ordinary" but her remark directly contradicts their own data buoy. It was their own data buoy which signaled something unusual had taken place. Data Buoys generally do not start flashing alerts when everything is normal.

Even worse, the OregonLive story accuses us of saying ". . . that an earthquake would follow. " That is outright mis-reported. Our web site clearly stated ". . .This type of event is usually followed by . . ." and later, in large font and bold typeface, clearly stated
"DO NOT PANIC - There is no tsunami or volcanic eruption at this time"
Perhaps if Laura Frazier of OregonLive had bothered to telephone us, or e-mail us, we could have pointed out these things. She did neither, despite our contact information appearing under the CONTACT US link at the top of every page.

We're not certain where Ms. Frazier went to journalism school, or how any editor at their publication could allow a story to be done without contacting the source, but we can only guess this level of shoddy news reporting is common in small media markets like Oregon. Certainly no such shoddy journalism would ever be tolerated out here in New York City where we're located.


Speaking of shoddy journalism, KGW-TV in Portland has also run a "story" about our article (HERE) , calling our article a HOAX. We deny this accusation and stand-by our story because it is based upon facts provided by US Government Ocean Data Buoys and reported on US Government web sites.

As was the case with OregonLive, the "reporter" from KGW-TV in Portland, Sara Roth, never called us and never sent us an email. How she could accuse media colleagues of a "hoax" without even bothering to contact us, is despicable.

Had Ms. Roth bothered to contact us, we could have referred her to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - National Data Buoy Center web site, showing exactly where the government buoy triggered an "EVENT" alert and showed the actual sudden drop in water depth. She never called us or emailed.

Even worse, Ms. Roth published double-hearsay when she quoted Scott Burns, a geologist with PSU who
". . . said he confirmed with the National Weather Service that the article was a hoax, and the weather service debunked the article."
Ms. Roth does not quote anyone at the weather service and does not reveal to whom at the weather service Mr. Burns spoke to.

This type of journalism, reporting double hearsay and not verifying anything with the originating source, is not just shoddy workmanship, in our opinion it borders on quackery.

If this is an example of how the "news" is gathered and reported in Portland, then we feel sorry for the people of Oregon who are relying on journalistic incompetence for their information.

SuperStation95 stands-by our story. It is accurate and based upon factual data reported by US Government Ocean Data Buoys, published on web sites operated by the US Government.

Readers are also advised that television station KEZI-TV channel 9 (Abc affiliate) reports (HERE):
Chris Goldfinger, the Director at Active Tectonics and Seafloor Mapping Laboratory, and a professor at Oregon State University, said "this interesting excursion in the water height at DART buoy 46404 is not a tsunami. The buoy is on the Juan De Fuca Ridge flank, not in the subduction zone, so I'd guess this might be a magma chamber deflation event."
So there you have it, there WAS an "event" which a professional Geologist says may have been a magma chamber deflation event. Thus, our story was accurate -- something DID happen - which triggered an "event" in a tsunami buoy. Thus, our story was factual.

Folks in Oregon will just have to decide for themselves whether our fact-based story or the local media's quackery is to be believed. To help you decide who is right, please note that just 8 hours after our story first began running, warning of a possible earthquake ------ PORTLAND HAD AN EARTHQUAKE ---- as reported by the US Geological Survey (HERE.)

We hope this is not a harbinger of a far worse quake as mentioned in our story, but when comparing what SuperStation95 reports versus your local OregonLive or KGW-TV, it ought to be clear that SuperStation95 is the one reporting accurately!