Pacific Northwest vs. Japan Tectonic Setting Open


  • Pacific Northwest vs. Japan tectonics & earthquake
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Learn how the Pacific Northwest tectonic setting and megathrust earthquake of January 1700 is similar to the catastrophic earthquake in Japan in 2011 by touching icons on this interactive map. Includes, location of Great earthquakes, volcanoes, direction of plate movement, subduction zone, rupture zone and tsunami extent.

ABOUT TO GO AWAY: IRIS is going to discontinue Flash animations in 2020. If you have a Flash player app and would like a copy, download this .swf file.


What do these subduction zones have in common?

  • Both have volcanoes lined up parallel to the plate boundary
  • Both have had Great earthquakes
  • Both have faster moving oceanic plate diving beneath a slower plate
  • Both have generated tsunamis that traveled across the Pacific Ocean

Related Interactives

Causes and casualties of the 14 most-significant earthquakes of that decade. This Flash rollover reveals facts about each of the earthquakes.

Interactive Novice

This rollover compares the an earthquake of 1700 in the Pacific Northwest with the 2004 Sumatra earthquake and tsunami. The tectonic settings are similar.

Interactive Novice

The Pacific Northwest is host to three kinds of earthquakes revealed in this Flash rollover. Subduction zone great earthquakes, shallow crustal quakes, and earthquakes within the subducting plate.

Interactive Novice

Scroll over the bathymetric relief map to learn about the geographic provinces of the Pacific Northwest.

Interactive Novice

Related Animations

This UNAVCO animation compares Japan's subduction zone at the location of the 2011 earthquake with a mirror-image subduction zone in the Pacific Northwest. There are many similarities.

Animation Novice