© 2022 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Tsunami expert explains what could happen water-wise when The Big One hits

Ron Harris BYU

It's not just the potential for shaking that worries us. Our part of the world sits atop the Cascadia Subduction Zone, and movement in that zone far beneath us could bring a gigantic earthquake.

But the earthquake could well come with a big wall of water, a tsunami generated in the Pacific.

That's Ron Harris's area of expertise; he's a geology professor at Brigham Young University and the tsunami expert for SEG, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. We get a visit from Dr. Harris about the dynamics of a big Pacific tsunami, and how people close to the ocean can prepare.

He left us with the 20-20-20 rule:

  • 20 seconds or more of shaking will probably produce a tsunami
  • 20 minutes is all people at the ocean will have to evacuate
  • 20 meters in elevation (65 feet) is how high they should get—at a minimum—to stay clear of water
Stay Connected
The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. John Baxter is the senior producer, Angela Decker is the producer and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.