Category Archives: Earth

Cascadia, earthquakes and Catalonia

This excellent piece from the New Yorker slipped under my radar when it was published (so you may already have read it). It covers the worrying evidence that the US Pacific coast from northern California to Vancouver Island, an area not known for its seismic activity, is actually at risk of a massive and devastating earthquake. The Cascadia subduction apparently poses much more of a risk than the more famous San Andreas fault.

This, coupled with last month’s tragic earthquake in Amatrice, led me to look up the seismic potential in Catalonia. Surely being so close to a ‘young’ mountain range like the Pyrenees indicates we’re at risk from earthquakes? The answer is: no. The Generalitat’s report into Catalonia’s seismicity found that while there have been a number of quakes in the Garrotxa region (its volcanoes last erupted 10,000 years ago), Catalonia’s a stable area. The Basque end of the Pyrenees is far more prone to tremors.


In deepest, darkest #Catalonia #valldellemena #rocacorba

A photo posted by Tom Clarke (@tombcn) on

We went to la Garrotxa at the weekend, celebrating ten years of marriage. We stayed in the Vall de Llèmena, just to the south. Llèmena is a real hidden gem – gorgeous forested landscapes and very little human interference. Much as I love the neighboring Empordà region, Llèmena has a lot going for it.