The M9 Project’s goal is to reduce the catastrophic impact of Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes on the social, built, and natural environments through research advancements in methods, early warnings, and community planning.

The M9 Project’s approach

  • Bring together a broad team of UW researchers from physical sciences, mathematics, engineering, urban planning, and social sciences
  • Better define the range of possibilities and the limits of our understanding of the effects of a subduction zone earthquake (strong focus on probabilistic methods)
  • Apply this increased understanding to improving technological and social aspects of predictive and warning systems
  • Work with local, state, and federal partners to apply results, improve community planning and resilience

Selected research topics

Short term (seconds to minutes)

  • Suite of 3D state-of-the-art simulations of fault rupture and ground motions of Cascadia megathrust earthquakes
  • Behavioral responses to and best practices for earthquake early warnings

Immediate term (minutes to hours)

  • Response of buildings and infrastructure to long duration, long period ground motions
  • Behavior of liquefiable soils to long duration, long period ground motions
  • Probabilistic tsunami hazard assessments including forces on structures and tsunami generation by earthquake-triggered landslides
  • Statistical modeling of seismically induced landslide hazard from subduction events
  • Retrospective analysis of past seismically triggered landsliding in Puget Sound using LiDAR and geochronology

Long term (days to years)

  • Assessment of trade-offs policy makers and public are willing to make between investments in preparation for and responses to earthquake hazards in Washington
  • Integrating multi-hazard, multi-time-scaled probabilistic hazard scenarios into community-based adaptive planning
  • Increased post-event sedimentation rates
  • K-12, public, and professional education and outreach
  • Effective visualization and presentation of probabilistic results

M9 is an NSF Hazards SEES project (EAR-1331412).

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