VENUS in the Salish Sea

The VENUS observatory in the Salish Sea is represented by a series of installations in Saanich Inlet and Strait of Georgia.

Saanich Inlet 

The Saanich Inlet network consists of cabled arrays of instruments in Mill Bay, Patricia Bay and an autonomous mooring at the entrance (sill) to the inlet. Two cabled surface buoys are connected to the Patricia Bay installation, supporting a technology testbed facility (Patricia Bay) and a full water column observation station (Coles Bay).

      Patricia Bay

  • Seafloor network at 100 m depth connected to a shore station at the Institute of Ocean Sciences (IOS)
  • Surface buoy based Ocean Technology Testbed (OTTB) designed and built to support engineering and technology development.
  • Surface based Buoy Profiling System (BPS) designed and built for water column measurements off Coles Bay in central Saanich Inlet.
  • Autonomous Underwater Vehicle ("Bluefin")

      Mill Bay 

  • A community observatory at Brentwood College with basic sensors that measure water properties at 8 m depth.

Strait of Georgia

A network with three sites on seafloor at Central, East and Fraser Delta locations of the southern Strait of Georgia, and surface-based systems on BC Ferries, Iona Causeway, and Coal Port terminal. Installations in the Strait of Georgia include: 

  • Seafloor networks linking 3 nodes at 300 m (Central), 175 m (East), and 170 m (Fraser Delta)
  • Shore-based High Frequency radar (CODAR with 2 antennas) 
  • Instrumentation on BC Ferries vessels ("Seekeeper") 
  • Ocean glider (Webb "Slocum")

Site List

Saanich Inlet

Depth: 100 m
Setting: Fjord
Studies: low oxygen, forensics, plankton, sediments

Prince Rupert

Digby Island

Depth: 0 m

Ridley Island

Depth: -7 m

Mill Bay

Depth: 8 m
Setting: Inlet Shoreline
Studies: Air-sea boundary, biology, near-shore water properties

Kitamaat Village

Depth: 40 m

Fraser Delta

Depths: 100-150 m
Setting: River delta
Studies: Submarine slope failure and sediment stability

Eastern Strait of Georgia

Depth: 170 m
Setting: Inland basin
Studies: Marine mammals, water properties, currents

Central Strait of Georgia

Depth: 300 m
Setting: Inland basin
Studies: water properties, currents, acoustics

Campbell River

Depth: 0-8 m


VENUS in the Salish Sea Observatory Map

The Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea (VENUS) has been in continual operation since February, 2006. Deployed in the coastal waters of southern British Columbia, the facility provides long-term oceanographic data on physical, chemical, biological, and sediment conditions in Saanich Inlet and in the Strait of Georgia near Vancouver, British Columbia.