Is there something happening that's significantly delaying the natural period of these events?
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I'm interested in what it feels like to experience a subduction zone earthquake. For example, if the Cascadia subduction zone has a full-margin rupture (i.e., the "really big one"), the North American plate can lurch 30+ feet west and drop about 6 feet vertically. I live in the Portland area, and I was sitting on my porch the other day and these numbers caught my imagination. What would happen if there was a huge quake when I was on my porch? Is it correct to think that the ground (and therefore the porch) would jump 30 feet west and drop by 6 feet -- and therefore pull itself from under my feet, and I would go tumbling off the edge of my porch? Or if I was a few feet from a wall, would the wall come crashing into me? Or am I totally misunderstanding what happens in a subduction zone quake, and the actual subjective experience is just one of intense shaking? (i.e., maybe the actual "lurch to the west" happens slowly enough that you just get carried along with the plate?)
I'm having trouble visualizing this interaction. I'm sure I learned it in school, but I can't for the life of me remember. I can't think of anywhere this interaction is currently occurring off the top of my head.
I'm presuming a continent size landmass just grinds the subduction process to a halt then collides with whatever is on the non-subbducting side ala India slamming into Asia? What about a smaller landmass? Say something the size of Madagascar or New Guinea? Is there a tectonic process of transferring middling landmasses from one large plate to another large plate without the plates merging? What about smallish islands, say from a hotsot, how do they survive interaction with a subduction zone, or do they?
What happens if the continent is somehow on the plate being subducted under? Say, an Australia being subducted under an Indonesian-style volcanic arc. If that's even possible I assume there'd be some sort of minor orogeny and merger?