Oregon Cascadia Scenario


A 1999 Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) report on the possible effects of a Cascadia subduction zone event.

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Read how Yumei Wang says this propelled Oregon into action:

Why the success?  because the then state geologist, Don Hull, firmly believed that this was the single most important work by our agency in his 20 yrs. Consequently, he focused much of his energy on promoting it to the governor’s staff, legislature, media, (and stakeholders). Without his leadership and commitment, the scenario would not have had this success.

Since the 1999 scenario, DOGAMI has conducted numerous scenarios—most with much better resolution (better input data including liquefaction maps and some with building inventory). But, in comparison, the impact has been minimal (there are, of course, exceptions).

Two take-home lessons are:

1) technology transfer to key stakeholders is the most critical element (decision makers, media, relevant stakeholders such as local gov’t). The message needs to be in terms they understand and resonant with.

2) Depending on the audience, scenarios require different levels of effort and information—e.g., the legislature may be focused on casualties and costs (with census tract data is vital). In contrast, a city may be focused on damage potential of the fire stations and priority routes (with building and bridge specific data is vital)