Workshop announcement: Scientific Ocean Drilling in Cascadia – April 29 to May 1

Investigating Cascadia Subduction Zone Geodynamics Through Scientific Ocean Drilling

University of Washington, Seattle

April 29 – May 1, 2015

Deadline for US participants to request travel support: January 31, 2015

Deadline for others to register: March 15, 2015

Recent devastating megathrust earthquakes in Sumatra, Chile and Japan have heightened awareness of the hazard posed by subduction zones and the inevitability of a comparable earthquake along the coast of the Pacific Northwest. At the same time, there have been extensive efforts to expand the infrastructure and funding for scientific studies of the Cascadia subduction zone. The NSF GeoPRISMS program identified Cascadia as a Primary Site, cabled observatories have been installed off both the US and Canada, NSF’s Amphibious Array Facility is supporting a 4-year community experiment to understand the seismicity and seismic structure of the Cascadia margin and Juan de Fuca Plates and significant active-source seismic imaging, magneto-telluric and heat flow experiments have been undertaken offshore. However, only very recently have efforts been initiated to extend geodetic observations above the subduction zone offshore, even though such observations are critical for understanding the dynamics and hazards potential of the Cascadia megathrust. Offshore geodetic studies must be conducted on a decadal timescale to fully resolve many interseismic deformation processes and downhole geodetic and hydrogeological observations are some of the most sensitive tools for understanding subduction zone dynamics. The objective of this 2½-day workshop is to develop the framework for a full IODP proposal to be submitted in 2016 by considering how drilling can best contribute to our scientific understanding of the deformation of the Cascadia subduction zone, the degree of interseismic locking across and along strike, and its seismic and tsunamigenic potential.

In order to accomplish this objective the workshop will:

* Review the state of knowledge of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, existing infrastructure, and experimental initiatives that are underway.

* Review the results of drilling and downhole geodynamic observations in other subduction zone settings.

* Identify and prioritize the scientific questions in Cascadia that are best addressed by ocean drilling and downhole instrumentation.

* Prioritize borehole instrumentation that is required to achieve the scientific objectives.

* Develop a plan for a borehole observatory array (or series of transects) that can be designed in light of realistic drilling/infrastructure constraints, structural context, and define a strategy for the complementary integration of borehole, seafloor, and land-based monitoring.

By the end of the meeting, a group of proponents will be identified to lead the writing of a proposal.

The workshop will be open to U.S. and international participants. Travel funds for US participants will be available through the US Science Support Program for IODP. Travel funds will be allocated based on the submission of a short statement of interest and on need – a portion of the travel funds are specifically reserved for graduate students and early career scientists.

The meeting web page ( includes a link for registration and requests for travel support for US participants.

Non-U.S. participants should inquire with their own IODP national offices for possible travel support, e.g., for European and Canadian applicants, and <> for Japanese applicants.


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