Cascadia SOSUS image


To explore the design options for offshore monitoring of the subduction zone.

We have undertaken a feasibility study for offshore geophysical monitoring of the Cascadia subduction zone that considered its design, cost and benefits. To accomplish this, we:

  • Analyzed existing offshore data and conducted modeling studies to help constrain the requirements for effective earthquake and deformation monitoring.
  • Studied existing observatories and emerging technologies to understand the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.
  • Developed a set of top-level system engineering requirements through an iterative process.
  • Held a workshop in spring 2017 to engage the scientific community, provide a forum for scientists to interact with engineers, and to solicit feedback from experts.  The workshop discussed a strategy for engaging stakeholders outside the scientific community.
  • Generated a white paper which outlines the case for an offshore network and presents a list of project tasks for implementing the observatory, a timeline and a projected budget.

Although our focus is Cascadia, we anticipate that our study will be a useful resource for groups who are planning offshore monitoring infrastructure in other subduction zones and we welcome interactions with such groups.