Page description goes here!





Whats New

Upcoming Talks, New Papers and Other Things

Pubic Showing of "Unprepared" OPB Earthquake Special, with Panel discussion

Monday May 7, Hatfield Marine Science Center Auditorium, Newport, OR. 6:30 pm.

Pubic Showing of "Unprepared" OPB Earthquake Special, with Panel discussion

Tuesday May 1, North Salem High School Auditorium, 6:30 pm.

Short Course in Subaqueous Paleoseismology offered at thte Geological Society of America Meeting in Seattle

The course is offered Saturday October 21. See GSA for details and registration.

New Paper Released!

This paper shows evedence of offshore erosion caused during the cataclysmic Missoula flood events.

Beeson, J.W., Goldfinger, C., and Fortin, W.F., 2017, Large-scale modification of submarine geomorphic features on the Cascadia accretionary wedge caused by catastrophic flooding events:
Geosphere, v. 13, no. 4, p. 1–16, doi:10.1130/GES01388.1.

New Paper Released!

This paper takes a close look a the Northern San Andreas Fault structure, evolution and termination in Northern California

Beeson, J.W., Goldfinger, C., Johnson, S.Y., 2017, The Offshore Section of the Northern San Andreas Fault: Fault Zone Geometries, Shallow Deformation Patterns, and Asymmetric Basin Growth, Geosphere, v13 (3)

New Paper Released!

This paper models seafloor habitat using Bayesian methods

Havron, A., Goldfinger, C., Henkel, S., Marcot, B.G., Romsos, C., Gilbane, L., 2017, Mapping marine habitat suitability and uncertainty using Bayesian networks: a case study of northeastern Pacific benthic macrofauna, Ecosphere, v. 8 (7), p. 1-25.

New Paper Released!

A new paper came out this week that attempts to integrate tsunami models, onshore andoffshore paleoseismic data in Southern Cascadia:

George R. Priest, Robert C. Witter, Y. Joseph Zhang, Chris Goldfinger, Kelin Wang, Jonathan C. Allan, 2017, New constraints on coseismic slip during southern Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes over the past 4,600 years implied by tsunami deposits and marine turbidites, Natural Hazards DOI: 10.1007/s11069-017-2864-9


National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine

Joint BESR/COSG Meeting - The Cascadia Subduction Zone: Science, Impacts, and Response

November 10-11, 2016, National Academy of Sciences Building
2101 Constitution Ave NW Washington DC 20418


City Club Earthquake Forum, Kells Pub Portland, November 1, 5:30 pm


Goldfinger Active Tectonics Lab wins 2016 Geological Society of America Kirk Bryan Award.


TEdx Mt. HoodTEDx Portland, June 18, 2016. Revolution Hall



Science Pub Corvallis "Shaking up the Northwest, the Cascadia Earthquake in our Future" Majestic Theatre, Covallis 6 pm. Science Pub at The Majestic @ The Majestic Theatre | Corvallis | Oregon | United States


New Yorker Festival, Manhattan, October 3, School of Visual Arts, Theatre 1, 10 am. App_icon

NWEA Workshop, Hood River Inn, October 2.

Oregon Coast Economic Summit, August 27, Grand Ronde.

The Really Big One: A Public Forum On Earthquake Hazards

and Preparedness in the PNW, University of Oregon, Eugene, August 6, 7 PM. 156 Straub Hall.

New Books

New Novel: Stick Slip from Chris Scholz! An entertaining read about a Cascadia great earthquake.

The Next Tsunami examines our short term memory about disasters, Los Angeles Times, March 21, 2014

New Papers

Second Paper detailing the marine paleoseismic record of the Northern Sumatra margin released.

Second New Canadian Study Corroborates and Extends Cascadia Marine Paleoseismic Record

New Thesis Released: Southern Cascadia Turbidites Traced with High-Resolution CHIRP Sub Bottom Profiles.

New Dissertation Released: Sumatra Paleoseismology

New Paper Released: Cascadia Segmented Rupture Tsunami Models

New Paper Released: Cascadia Tsunami Models

New Paper Released: Cascadia Great Earthquake Clustering

Coastwide Tsunami inundation Scenarios for Oregon Released

"Superquakes and Supercycles" released, Seismological Research Letters

New Paper Released: Cascadia Turbidites in Forearc Lakes?

Preliminary study of existing lake sedimentary records suggests a record of great earthquakes.

New Cascadia Paper Released: Segmented Ruptures Along the Southern Cascadia Margin

New core and high resolution reflection data illuminate thesouthern Cascadia paleoseismic record.

New Canadian Study Corroborates Cascadia Marine Paleoseismic Record

Seismically generated turbidites in Effingham Inlet, western Vancouver Island.

Second in Sumatra Paleoseismology Series Released

Other Stuff

Bayesian Spatial Analysis Team Wins Department of the Interior Partners in Conservation Award

Oregon Earthquake Resiliency Report Released

Oregon Tsunami Work Wins Award

Successful geophysical cruise aboard the Derek. M. Baylis completed with very low carbon footprint

Cascadia, the Movie! Animation of 10,000 year earthquake record from marine and coastal paleoseismic sites.

Initiative to Retrofit Schools in Portand for Earthquakes




Structure of the Offshore Northern San Andreas Fault



The San Andreas Fault (SAF) is a transform boundary between the North American and the Pacific tectonic plates.  The SAF extends from the Gulf of California to the Mendocino Triple Junction (MTJ) in northern California.  Most of the SAF is located on land and has been extensively studied over the last hundred years.  The SAF posses one of the largest seismic hazards to the west coast of the United States.  The ~7.9 Mw 1906 earthquake that destroyed most of San Francisco was caused by a rupture of the northern section of the SAF. This rupture is estimated to have occurred from San Francisco, CA to Shelter Cover, CA, roughly 477 km. A large portion of this segment is located offshore, from Pt. Arena to Shelter Cove, and even though over 100 years has passed since the 1906 earthquake this section has received little attention from the scientific community.  Based on turbidite paleoseismology, conducted by the Active Tectonics and Seafloor Mapping lab (ATSML), it is believed that this section of the SAF ruptures roughly every ~200 years (Goldfinger 2006).  Paleoseismology also suggests that the previous 10 ruptures likely extended from Cape Mendocino, CA to at least the vinity of San Francisco, CA (Goldfinger et al. 2006).

New Geophysical Surveys

In an attempt to constrain and characterize this section of the SAF, the ATSML collected ~572 km2 of high resolution multibeam bathymetry and, jointly with the USGS, also collected ~592 km of mini sparker seismic reflection profiles in 2010(See Map).  The data sets collected in 2010 are being combined with other multibeam and seismic data, between Pt. Arena, CA and Fort Bragg, CA, collected by the California State Waters Mapping Project and the USGS.  The ATSML has an ongoing collaboration with the USGS to process, interpret and publish findings from these datasets.
The data collection was performed aboard the R/V Derek M. Baylis, a sailing vessel, in an effort to conduct this project in an efficient and 'green' way, as well as to explore the benfits of a relatively quiet vessel for geophysical data collection.  The R/V Baylis consumes on average 1.6 gallons of fuel per hour while surveying under motor power and virtually zero while surveying under sail.  During the 2010 cruise all fuel consumption was monitored and recorded, i.e. travel, mobilization, survey, demobilization (Link).  The Baylis consumed a total of 681 gallons of fuel, many times more efficient that using more common research vessels.
Based on preliminary interpretations of the bathymetry and the seismic profiles it is obvious that the SAF represents a major feature on the seafloor from Pt. Arena, CA to Shelter Cove, CA.  In some areas the bathymetry shows that the SAF has vertical scarps greater than 20 meters. Also, based on multibeam bathymetry and seismic profiles, we observe the SAF taking up to 10° bends in its strike.  These bends create basins and uplifted areas all along the fault.  In addition to the SAF we have, using seismic profiles, mapped small parallel faults and splay faults striking northwest from the SAF.  A couple of our goals are to create a detailed geologic map of the area and to determine how much slip this section of the SAF and these other faults are accommodating along the North American/Pacific Plate boundary. This project has and will continue to expand our understanding of this, poorly understood, seismically hazardous area of the United States.


Northern san andreas fautl, submarine mapping, derek baylis

Figure 1. Sailing research vessel Derek M. Baylis, operated by the Sealife Conservation Society. the baylis was used for collection of mini-sparker seismic reflection data, as well as multibeam bathymetry using a Reson 8101 multibeam sonar. The retracted multibeam pole is visible amidships.

Northern san andreas fautl, submarine mapping, derek baylisNorthern san andreas fautl, submarine mapping, derek baylisNorthern san andreas fautl, submarine mapping, derek baylis

Figure 2. Left: Baylis gets some underbody work done prior to the 2010 cruise. Center: grad student Morgan Erhardt monitors multibeam data collection. Right: Baylis stopped for a CTD cast during hte multibeam survey.

Northern san andreas fautl, submarine mapping, derek baylis, bathymetry mapnorthern San Andreas Fault seismic reflection trackine map with bathymetry

Figure 3. Perspective veiw along the NSAF with 2010 multibeam data. Figure 4. Trackline of the OSU-USGS Mini-Sparker reflection profile survey. (Click for larger image)



Northern san andreas fautl, submarine mapping, derek baylis, seismic profile

Figure 5. Monitor record of line ms-89A across the NSAF.



Coming soon!



Coming Soon!


NOAA Ocean Explorer NSAF Expedition Website


Related Publications

Goldfinger, C., Morey, A.E., Nelson, C.H., Gutiérrez-Pastor, J., Johnson, J.E., Karabanov, E., Chaytor, J., Ericsson, A., and shipboard scientific party, 2007, Rupture lengths and temporal history of significant earthquakes on the Offshore and Northcoast segments of the Northern San Andreas Fault based on turbidite stratigraphy, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 254, p. 9-27.

Goldfinger, C., Grijalva, K., Burgmann, R., Morey, A.E., Johnson, J.E., Nelson, C.H., Gutierrez-Pastor, J., Karabanov, E., Chaytor, J.D., Patton, J., and Gracia, E., 2008, Late Holocene Rupture of the Northern San Andreas Fault and Possible Stress Linkage to the Cascadia Subduction Zone, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 98, p. 861-889. BSSA paper

Goldfinger, C., Patton, J.R., Morey, A.M., 2009, Reply to comment on "Late Holocene Rupture of the Northern San Andreas Fault and Possible Stress Linkage to the Cascadia Subduction Zone, Goldfinger, C., Grijalva, K., Burgmann, R., Morey, A., Johnson, J.E., Nelson, C.H., Ericsson, A., Gutiérrez-Pastor, J., Patton, J., Karabanov, E., Gracia, E.", Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 98, p. 861-889, 8 pp. BSSA paper

Goldfinger, C., 2009, Subaqueous Paleoseismology, in Mcalpin, J., ed., Paleoseismology, 2nd edition, Elsevier, p. 119-169. Paleoseismology chapter

Goldfinger, C., 2011, Submarine Paleoseismology Based on Turbidite Records, Annual Reviews of Marine Science, v. 3, p. 35-66. Paleoseismology chapter