Abstract. Every few hundred years, the Cascadia subduction zone off the coast of the Pacific Northwest hosts devastating earthquakes, and there is a growing awareness of the need to be prepared for these events. An offshore cabled observatory extending the length of the Cascadia subduction zone would enhance the performance of the earthquake and tsunami early warning systems, would enable real time monitoring and predictions of the incoming tsunami, and would contribute substantially to scientific research aimed at mitigating the hazard. The University of Washington has recently initiated a study to develop a conceptual design for the U.S. portion of an offshore observatory for earthquake and tsunami early warning and research. This paper presents the motivation for this work and plans for the study.
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