Illustration of the Cascadia Subduction zone

17th Annual Cascadia Anniversary Geology Lecture

Anne Matthews Curry Campus, News

Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College’s popular Geology Lecture Series continues for the 2021-22 academic year with our annual Cascadia Anniversary Lecture. Join us for New Insights on Cascadia, by Dr. Chris Goldfinger (Oregon State University) at 7:00 pm, Wednesday, January 26, 2022. The lecture will be presented virtually and accessed via Livestream at the College website ( 

This special talk in the geology lecture series is scheduled on the 322nd anniversary of the last great Cascadia earthquake, which took place at approximately 9:00 pm on January 26, 1700 with an estimated 9.0 magnitude. The Cascadia Subduction Zone is a 600-mile fault that runs from northern California to British Columbia and is about 100 miles off the Pacific coast shoreline. Oregon has the potential for a 9.0+ magnitude earthquake caused by the Cascadia Subduction Zone and a resulting tsunami of up to 100 feet in height that will impact the coastal area. 

Dr. Goldfinger completed his undergraduate work at Humboldt State before earning MS and PhD degrees from Oregon State University. He is presently a Professor of Marine Geology and the Director of the Active Tectonics and Seafloor Mapping Laboratory at Oregon State University. As a marine geologist and geophysicist his research focuses on great earthquakes, tsunami and structure of tectonic plate boundary fault zones around the world. He has experience with deep sea submersibles, sidescan sonar, seismic reflection, and other marine geophysical tools deployed on over 40 oceanographic cruises made over the last 25 years. Dr. Goldfinger works on great subduction zone earthquakes along the Cascadia, NE Japan, and Sumatran plate margins, as well as the Northern San Andreas Fault off northern California using the evidence for earthquakes found in deep-sea sediments. Goldfinger has extensive scientific publications and has worked on documentaries with Discovery Canada, National Geographic, NOVA, the History Channel, the BBC, Oregon Public Broadcasting, TED Talks, Omni Films and others. Many people will also recognize him from his interview with Kathyrn Schultz, The Really Big One that was published in The New Yorker.  

A Q & A session with the speaker will follow the lecture. Advance questions may be sent to Ron Metzger at [email protected]. All talks are archived for later viewing. 

Lectures in the series are free. Future talks this year include Dr. Sean Davis (NOAA) on Tuesday, February 8 at 7:00 pm with “Lessons at the school of hard knocks: from the ozone hole to global climate change” also via Livestream. Our hope is to be back to a live audience in Spring 2022. Lecture Series Sponsors include DB Western, Southwestern Foundation, The Mill Casino & Resort, Ocean Discovery Lecture Series and the College. For additional information or to submit questions prior to the talk contact Ron Metzger at [email protected] or 541-888-7216.