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NEWPORT, Ore. -- The three major tectonic plates off the Pacific Northwest coast are undergoing a gradual shift, and the area in which they converge - popularly known as the "Triple Junction" - appears to be migrating in a southeasterly direction.
The change isn't a cause for alarm, researchers say; in fact, it has been slowly taking place over millions of years. But advances in technology, and data provided in part by formerly classified U.S. Navy hydrophones, are giving scientists a new perspective on the underlying geology of the region - an understanding that may change previous accepted models of seafloor spreading, undersea volcanism and, ultimately, seismic hazards.
Findings of the research, conducted by Robert Dziak of Oregon State University, were just published in the journal Geology. …