During the night on 27 January 1700, a powerful magnitude 9 earthquake ruptured the Pacific coast along the Cascadia subduction fault zone. Historical records, as far away as Japan, confirm this devastating event.
Fast forward 316 years. Scientists now believe that major fault lines build up pressure over hundreds of years, and eventually release the pressure as a megathrust earthquake. Before that can happen, Ocean Networks Canada is poised to send an advance warning with sensors and software that can detect an earthquake—up to 90 seconds before the major shaking starts.