CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered a link between last weekend's earthquake in British Columbia and a fault line off the Oregon Coast.
They ran a computer model to show whether the British Columbia earthquake added stress to the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which is a fault that lies about 50 miles off the Oregon and Washington coast.
Scientists say if and when that fault ruptures, it could result in a destructive magnitude-9 earthquake.
The OSU geologists said their tests showed the recent earthquake added only a small amount of stress to the Cascadia fault.
“What we don't know is the stress state of the Cascadia right now," said OSU Professor Chris Goldfinger. "So you add that small straw to that, you don't know whether you're about to break the camel's back or not."
Goldfinger said it’s been 312 years since the last earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction zone.
He said on average they happen about every 240 years, which puts us in the window for another one.