Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title



The influence of subduction zone earthquake cycle processes on permanent forearc deformation is poorly understood. In the Cascadia subduction zone forearc of Washington State, USA, deformed and incised fluvial terraces serve as archives of longer-term (103–104 yr) strain manifest as both fluvial incision and slip on upper-plate faults. We focus on comparing these geomorphic records in the Wynoochee River valley in the southern Olympic Mountains with short-term (101 yr) deformation driven by interseismic subduction zone coupling. We use optically stimulated luminescence dating and high-resolution elevation data to characterize strath terrace incision and differential uplift across the Canyon River fault, which cuts Wynoochee River terraces. This analysis demonstrates reverse slip rates of ∼0.1–0.3 mm/yr over the past ∼12–37 k.y., which agree with rates predicted by a GPS-constrained boundary element model of interseismic stress from Cascadia subduction zone coupling. Similarly, model-predicted patterns of interseismic uplift mimic the overall pattern of incision in the lower Wynoochee River valley, as revealed by strath elevations dated at 14.1 ± 1.2 ka. Agreement between modeled short-term and observed long-term records of forearc strain suggests that interseismic stress drives slip on upper-plate faults and fluvial incision in Cascadia. Consistency over multiple time scales may indicate relative stability in spatial patterns of subduction zone coupling over at least ∼104 yr intervals.





First Page


Last Page




Licensed to Smith College and distributed CC-BY under the Smith College Faculty Open Access Policy.


Peer reviewed accepted manuscript.

Included in

Geology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.