NEPTUNE sites include installations on:
- the continental shelf at Folger Passage (at 20 m and 100 m water depth)
- the continental slope at Clayoquot Slope (formerly called ODP 889) and Barkley Canyon
- mid-plate on the abyssal plain at Cascadia Basin (formerly called ODP 1027), and
- mid-ocean ridge at the crest of the Endeavour Segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge.
NEPTUNE in the NE Pacific Observatory Map
The North East Pacific Time-series Underwater Networked Experiments (NEPTUNE) observatory is located off the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The subsea infrastructure, an 840 km loop of fibre optic cable connected to instruments, enables scientists to study phenomena through continuous long-term, high temporal resolution observations not afforded by traditional ship-based ocean exploration. By co-locating instruments of different types, researchers can study interactions among geological, chemical, physical, and biological processes that drive the dynamic earth-ocean system. The network spans diverse environments ranging from the outer coast of Vancouver Island (Folger Passage) to a mid-ocean ridge (Endeavour Segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge), providing scientists a unique platform to investigate interactions between related processes observed in different setting across the network. The shore station at Port Alberni on Vancouver Island sends the collected data via fibre optic cable to the University of Victoria. The collection of data began in December 2009 and over 130 instruments on the NEPTUNE observatory are now sending real-time data over the Internet.
Data from the Line P time series and Ocean Station Papa are also available through the Ocean Networks Canada data search. Ocean Station Papa (50.00°'N, 145.00'°W, depth 4220 m) was first operated as an ocean weather station by the United States Coast Guard beginning in December 1949. Starting in December 1950, Canadian weatherships occupied the site and began to take routine oceanographic measurements in addition to collecting meteorological data. In August 1981, the Institute of Ocean Sciences, part of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Canada, began taking shipboard measurements along Line P, a series of sampling stations beginning on the continental shelf and ending at Ocean Station Papa, 3-6 times per year building a very valuable time-series of oceanographic data on the Northeast Pacific Ocean. This sampling regime is still done today. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory installed a surface mooring to collected further oceanographic data between 1997 and 1999. The U.S. Ocean Observatory Initiative will be installing one of its Global oceanographic buoys at Station Papa.