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Earthquake-induced subsidence and burial of late holocene archaeological sites, northern Oregon coast

January 1, 1996

Fire hearths associated with prehistoric Native American occupation lie within the youngest buried lowland soil of the estuaries along the Salmon and Nehalem rivers on the northern Oregon coast. This buried soil is the result of sudden subsidence induced by a great earthquake about 300 years ago along the Cascadia subduction zone, which extends offshore along the North Pacific Coast from Vancouver Island to northern California. The earthquake 300 years ago was the latest in a series of subsidence events along the Cascadia subduction zone over the last several thousand years. Over the long term, subsidence and burial of prehistoric settlements as a result of Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes have almost certainly been an important factor contributing to the limited time depth of the archaeological record along this section of the North Pacific Coast. Copyright ?? by the Society for American Archaeology.