Best Books of the Month Shop Men's Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums All-New Amazon Fire TV Subscribe & Save Amazon Gift Card Offer blacklist blacklist blacklist  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage Shop Now STEM Toys & Games
Cascadia's Fault and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy Used
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: This is an ex-library book. It may have plastic covering the book as well as library tags/stickers. The inside back cover has been stamped stating purchased at public sale. This book has been fairly well used and is in acceptable condition.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Cascadia's Fault: The Earthquake and Tsunami That Could Devastate North America Hardcover – May 1, 2011

52 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$23.83 $1.77

The Florentine Deception: A Novel by Carey Nachenberg
"The Florentine Deception" by Carey Nachenberg
Check out one of the new releases this month in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, by Carey Nachenberg. Learn more | See related books

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The recent seismic catastrophe in Japan is a foretaste of a similar cataclysm brewing in America, according to this alarming geological exposé. Thompson, a former Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reporter and documentarian, investigates the Cascadia Subduction Zone, an 800-mile-long fault where the ocean floor slowly grinds away underneath the North American continental plate. The fault has a millennia-long history of causing major quakes, including magnitude-9 monsters and 90-foot waves that could lay waste to Vancouver, Seattle, and dozens of coastal towns. But because no written records of this history exist and the fault has been quiescent since 1700, geologists were unaware of the danger. How they uncovered the violent history of this deceptively placid area, long a subject of academic controversy, is the fascinating scientific detective story at the heart of Thompson's account. He follows along as researchers piece together clues from ocean sediment core samples and tree rings, antique Japanese manuscripts, and laser gadgets and GPS devices that measure the inch-a-year movements of mountain chains; he blanches as their computer models illustrate the devastating impact of tsunamis and the fatal rhythms through which skyscrapers resonate to a temblor's shocks. The result is a lucid, engrossing look at the Earth's subtle dynamics—and a timely warning about their awesome power very close to home. (June)


Praise for Cascadia's Fault

"In Cascadia’s Fault, [Thompson is] primarily telling a detective story of sorts, about how scientists uncovered the subduction zone. If you’ve been listening to the subduction zone warnings and want to know more about the basis for them, Thompson’s book delivers that knowledge . . . [the] narrative is essentially a fairly calm . . . painstaking tale of scientific knowledge that’s much like the patient work of the seismologists and geologists who discovered the subduction zone." —The Seattle Sunbreak

"Part detective story, part memoir and part popular science, the narrative is crafted as a thriller . . . Thompson excels when he explains the science." —The Vancouver Sun

"Reporter Jerry Thompson puts the history of subduction earthquakes and the resultant tsunamis into clear perspective. In Cascadia’s Fault: The Coming Earthquake and Tsunami That Could Devastate North America, Thompson has written a very readable tale of how plate tectonics and earthquake science works, and what we need to know if we insist on being Left Coasters." —Sacramento News & Review

"A level-headed look at a potentially devastating natural disaster . . . fascinating." —Booklist

See all Editorial Reviews

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Counterpoint (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582436436
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582436432
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #783,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

JERRY THOMPSON's first grand ambition was to become a bush pilot and to live the idyllic life of a hermit in Canada's north woods. By some bizarre twist of fate he became a journalist, documentary filmmaker and author instead.

Born in Arkansas and raised in South Carolina, he is a graduate of the University of Delaware. He has worked as a radio and television reporter in Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver and as a network news correspondent on assignments around the world.

He has covered everything from forestry and fishing to earthquakes and tsunamis. From geo-engineering the climate, to the ozone hole in Australia, to the struggling Sandinista government in Nicaragua, to ethnic civil war in Sri Lanka, and the chemical disaster in Bhopal. On November 9th, 1989, he climbed the Berlin Wall to witness the collapse of Communism. He won two Gemini awards (Canada's equivalent of the Emmy) for his stories about Bhopal and Berlin.

In January 1994, he began writing and directing hour-long documentaries in partnership with his wife, producer Bette Thompson, through their production company, Raincoast Storylines Ltd. In between documentary projects, Jerry has written two screenplays, a television series pilot, and is currently at work on a novel.

The Thompsons live in the village of Sechelt on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By James D. DeWitt VINE VOICE on May 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The story Jerry Thompson has to tell is critically important, intriguing for anyone interested in science and as current as the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northeast Japan. I just wish Thompson had told the story better.

While the San Andreas fault gets all the publicity, it's not the most dangerous earthquake fault in America, or even on the west coast. That dubious honor goes to the Cascadia fault, where the easterly edge of the Juan de Fuca Plate is being stuffed under the northwest coast of North America. Extending from northern Vancouver Island to northern California, the plate is jammed. Locked up tight. At the rate of about 4mm a year, pressure is building. It doesn't sound like much, but the last major quake was in 1700, and based upon field work measured ML8.7-9.0, about the same magnitude (and for about the same reasons) as the disastrous 2011 quake off northeastern Japan. Geologists estimate a 37% chance of a major ML 9 quake in the next 50 years. Such a quake and attendant tsunamis would be disastrous, if anything worse than those videos of what happened in Japan.

Thompson tells the story of how the new science of plate tectonics developed, and specifically how those developments helped create an understanding of the geology and the risk the Cascadia fault presents. It's approximately what John McPhee did in By John McPhee: Annals of the Former World, but focused on the Juan de Fuca Plate. And Thompson isn't the writer that John McPhee is. Thompson very nearly makes an interesting story tedious.
Read more ›
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By William Holmes VINE VOICE on May 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Cascadia's Fault" is at some level two books. The better of the two is the story of how geologists around the world discovered how sea floors subside between floating continents to create "subduction zones" where volcanoes and earthquakes are common and often deadly. The famous "Ring of Fire" around the Pacific Ocean, for example, is the surface manifestation of several interrelated subduction zones.

Bound up in this historical narrative is the detective story of how scientists learned that the Cascadia Subduction Zone lies offshore and beneath the Pacific Northwest. They even know, to a high degree of certainty, that the last major earthquake along this fault occurred at about 9:00 pm on January 26, 1700--it may have exceeded 9.0 on the Richter Scale, and it sent an "orphan tsunami" across the Pacific that heavily damaged Japan. Native American legends and careful study of land subsidence along the West Coast show that the tsunami waves were even more devastating on this side of the ocean.

Thompson is on shakier ground (so to speak) in the "other" book, in which he speculates about what the complete release of the Cascadia Subduction Zone would do to the West Coast. As a journalist and documentary film maker, Thompson can't resist the urge to make the earthquake as awful as possible. He argues that one outcome could be 15+ meter tsunamis that devastate essentially all of the coastal communities on the West Coast from British Columbia all the way to California, as well as trans-Pacific waves that would hit Hawaii, Japan and elsewhere. The 9.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ian Bentryn on November 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
As a natural history nerd living in the Northwest, I purchased this book with hesitance, anticipating a tedious read - like a homework assignment. What a pleasant surprise I had to discover it was a "page-turner" that took only a few days to finish!

As a journalist and video producer, the author has spent many years following the on-going research concerning the seismic hazards off the west coast of North America. (Research that, after several decades of dispute, finally led scientists to conclude that the historically quiet subduction-zone fault running from northern California to British Columbia has been accumulating stress for over 300 years and will ultimately result in an earthquake and tsunami as severe as the 2011 Tohoku event in Japan.) Without resorting to sensationalism, Thompson has methodically laid out a book that details the detective work that has led to this chilling understanding of what is in store, and a call to action for both the residents of the region and their elected officials to take measures that will help save lives on the day the earth begins to shake.

If you reside in this beautiful region, you will not regret taking the time to read this very informative book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Fredric M. Blum on October 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an essential book about the very real threat of a mega-earthquake and mega-tsunami off the coast in the Pacific Northwest. The book documents the evidence and describes the chronology of discovery leading to the realization of the enormous hazard. I would have liked the author the spend more time on the frequencies of quakes in the area and especially the expected imminence of the coming humongous quake, but overall, anyone in the area living at low elevation who reads this book will definitely, and justifiably, consider moving the higher ground immediately.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: disasters