The Cascadia Initiative: A sea change in seismological studies of subduction zones

Citation:
Toomey, DR, Allen RM, Barclay AH, Bell SW, Bromirski PD, Carlson RL, Chen XW, Collins JA, Dziak RP, Evers B, Forsyth DW, Gerstoft P, Hooft EEE, Livelybrooks D, Lodewyk JA, Luther DS, McGuire JJ, Schwartz SY, Tolstoy M, Trehu AM, Weirathmueller M, Wilcock WSD.  2014.  The Cascadia Initiative: A sea change in seismological studies of subduction zones. Oceanography. 27:138-150.

Date Published:

2014/06

Keywords:

cape, deformation, fore-arc, great earthquakes, juan-de-fuca, mendocino, northeast pacific, ocean-bottom seismometer, plate, united-states, whales

Abstract:

Increasing public awareness that the Cascadia subduction zone in the Pacific Northwest is capable of great earthquakes (magnitude 9 and greater) motivates the Cascadia Initiative, an ambitious onshore/offshore seismic and geodetic experiment that takes advantage of an amphibious array to study questions ranging from megathrust earthquakes, to volcanic arc structure, to the formation, deformation and hydration of the Juan De Fuca and Gorda Plates. Here, we provide an overview of the Cascadia Initiative, including its primary science objectives, its experimental design and implementation, and a preview of how the resulting data are being used by a diverse and growing scientific community. The Cascadia Initiative also exemplifies how new technology and community-based experiments are opening up frontiers for marine science. The new technology shielded ocean bottom seismometers is allowing more routine investigation of the source zone of megathrust earthquakes, which almost exclusively lies offshore and in shallow water. The Cascadia Initiative offers opportunities and accompanying challenges to a rapidly expanding community of those who use ocean bottom seismic data.

Notes:

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