Scientists from tree rings learned about earthquake and tsunami in 1700

Scientists from the rings of fir learned details about the tsunami that happened simultaneously with the earthquake in 1700 in the subduction zone of Cascadia.

The authors of the new work studied the rings in Douglas fir and learned about the magnitude of the earthquake that occurred in 1700 in the Cascadia subduction zone.

The Cascadia Subduction Zone is a convergent plate boundary that extends from northern Vancouver Island in Canada to Northern California in the United States. Every 300 years in Cascadia there is a major earthquake of magnitude 9 or 10, the last major earthquake occurred in 1700.

The authors of the new work suggested that in 1700 there was not only an earthquake, but also a tsunami, which affected the growth of trees, as it caused a massive spill of sea water. An updated tsunami model shows that the area may have been submerged 10 meters in water.

The tsunami appeared to be the event that most affected tree growth that year. This information will help us predict when the next such event will occur.

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To begin with, the authors found the most suitable trees that grow as close to the coastline as possible, then they collected core samples from about 38 of them: all this was done without prejudice to the general condition of the trees. Most of them have been growing since about 1670.

The authors analyzed the growth rates of the rings and compared them with data on fir trees growing in other areas. They found that in 1700, trees in the tsunami flood zone began to grow much more slowly.

Researchers are still working to figure out how the tsunami affected the growth of trees, as they grow relatively far from the coastline. They believe that this could have happened with a combination of earthquake and seawater flooding.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
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Alexandr Ivanov

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