Wiring the Abyss 2013 brings you highlights from research and maintenance operations on the year’s major expeditions to our VENUS and NEPTUNE ocean observatories in the coastal waters of southern British Columbia.

October 20 to October 27: Ocean Networks Canada will be conducting the last scheduled maintenance expedition of the 2013 calendar year. This cruise will focus on maintaining a majority of the VENUS observatory installations from the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Vector using the CanPac Diver’s ROV Oceanic Explorer. The expedition’s objectives are to:

  • Maintain and clean the core sensors on all VENUS instrument platforms (VIP)
  • Recover, service, and redeploy the Delta Dynamics Laboratory near Sand Heads
  • Recover the Seismic Liquefaction In situ Penetrometer (SLIP) at the Delta site
  • Recover, service, and redeploy three hydrophone arrays in the Strait of Georgia
  • Recover (from Saanich Inlet, with bones), service, and redeploy (Strait of Georgia) the Forensics Platform, with two new pig carcasses.
  • Recover the Bottom Boundary Layer (BBL) platform from the Central Strait of Georgia site

Sept 6 to Sept 18/Leg 2: R/V Falkor continues to focus on hypoxia in areas of the Pacific continental shelf and coastal waters off southern Vancouver Island.

Aug 10 to Aug 31/Leg 1: Visiting from Florida, the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V Falkor hosts scientists studying low oxygen water intrusions at VENUS sites in the Salish Sea.

June 9 to June 26: From Victoria, the R/V Thompson heads out to deeper waters, with stops at Bullseye Vent (ODP 889), Cascadia Basin (ODP 1027) and the Endeavour segment of the Juan de Fuca mid-ocean ridge

May 20 to May 29: Leaving from Victoria BC, the IODP research drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution hosts visiting scientist Dr. Kate Moran at two sites along the 800 km NEPTUNE observatory network.

  • Deploy SCIMPI at Bullseye Vent (ODP 889)
  • Change CORK at Middle Valley

May 9 to May 28/Leg 2: CCGS Tully transits between NEPTUNE’s Folger and Barkley Canyon locations off the west coast of Vancouver Island.

  • Recover, perform maintenance and redeploy Folger Deep platform
  • Recovery, maintenance and redeployment of four Barkley Canyon pods (instrument platforms) and surrounding instruments
  • Recover and perform maintenance and deploy at Barkley Hydrates
  • Install sonar system at Barkley Hydrates
  • Perform sampling at all Folger and Barkley sites and in Effingham Inlet.

April 29 to May 8/Leg 1: From Sidney, BC, we're off on the Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) John P. Tully to VENUS sites in the Strait of Georgia and Saanich Inlet

  • Recover and swap forensic experiments at Saanich Inlet
  • Deploy and connect new mini-node at Delta Dynamics Lab
  • Install new slope stability piezometer at Delta Dynamics Lab
  • Deploy new hydrophone systems at several Strait of Georgia sites
  • Deploy new bottom boundary layer (BBL) platform at Central node
  • Deploy and connect Microsquid at Saanich Inlet
  • Benthic ecology research (survey transects) at Saanich Inlet
  • Recover the Disco camera at Saanich Inlet

Data Interruptions Likely

During the expeditions, intermittent instrument outages and data gaps will occur as we recover and service instrumentation. Data services on the VENUS and NEPTUNE Canada websites may also be delayed by ongoing operations at sea.

R/V Thomas G. Thompson
R/V Thomas G Thompson

The 274-foot R/V Thomas G. Thompson is a global class research ship, and part of the UNOLS fleet. Owned by the Office of Naval Research, the Thompson is operated by the University of Washington's School of Oceanography. In addition to the ship's 22-member crew, the Thompson has room for an additional 36 scientists and 2 marine technicians.

Like a self-contained small city, the Thompson carries a 45+ day food supply and uses desalinators to produce 8,000 gallons of fresh water each day. Generators produce enough power to run the ship and provide lighting and power for laboratories, communications and navigation equipment. The ship uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) integrated with dynamic positioning (DP) to hold station within 1-2 meters.

R/V Thompson home page





R/V Falkor
R/V Falkor

R/V Falkor is a 82.9 m (272 ft) LOA ship originally built in 1981 in Lübeck, Germany as a fishery protection vessel.

The ship went through an extensive refit from 2009 to early 2012, converting the ship to an oceanographic research vessel. Cruising range and endurance are estimated at 8,000 nautical miles and 28 days of steaming (fuel-limited) at a cruising speed of 12 knots.


JOIDES Resolution
JOIDES Resolution

JOIDES stands for “Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling,” an organization that merged in 2007 with the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, which today runs the vessel in partnership with Texas A&M University and Lamont-Dougherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. The National Science Foundation provides funding.

The JR also offers education programs including “Educator at Sea” and “School of Rock.” It can hold 130 people, half of whom are crew. The deepest hole it has drilled is about 2110m (or 1.3 miles) into the earth. Operating since 1985, the JR roams the world’s oceans. It has no home port.

The 143m (470 feet) long JOIDES Resolution is a seagoing research vessel that drills core samples and collects measurements from under the ocean, giving scientists a glimpse into Earth’s development.

CCGS John P. Tully
John P. Tully
The CCGS John P. Tully is a Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel named in honour of John Patrick Tully (1906 – 1987). Tully was an oceanographer whose work in physical, chemical and biological oceanography heavily influenced the growth of oceanographic research on the West Coast of Canada. Tully was honoured with various awards, including the Order of Merit and the Commemorative Medal of Albert I of Monaco.

CCGS John P. Tully home page