The Strait of Georgia is a deep, inland basin located between Vancouver Island to the west and the Lower Mainland of British Columbia to the east, including the City of Vancouver. The Strait of Georgia branch of Ocean Networks Canada's VENUS Observatory resides in the southern portion of the Strait. This deep basin is nearly 200 km long and 40 km wide, and has maximum water depths of more than 400 m in the central/northern region. A dominant and influencing feature of the Strait is the mouth of the Fraser River, which experiences peak freshet flows in May and June as the seasonal snow pack from the coastal mountains of southern British Columbia drains into the Strait of Georgia.
There are two full nodes and one mini-node in the Strait. The node in the south-east portion of the Strait supports a full complement of ocean conditions including water properties (temperature, salinity, pressure, dissolved Oxygen), ocean currents, bottom turbulence, and the vertical distribution of zooplankton. This site also includes a hydrophone system for measuring ambient sound, including vocalizations of resident and migratory marine mammals. All three Strait of Georgia sites are strongly influenced by the semi-diurnal tidal currents, which vary over the spring-neap cycle with speeds ranging between 1 and 3 knots (0.5 - 1.5 m/s).
In addition to the cabled sensors on the ocean bottom, we have a suite of new mobile systems monitoring the surface and water column conditions. Two high frequency CODAR installations measure the surface currents from Iona to Tsawwassen, covering the central southern Strait including the region immediately at the mouth of the Fraser. Thermosalinograph systems installed on BC Ferries monitor surface water properties as the ferries ply the waters between Vancouver Island and the lower mainland. Seasonal Glider missions will monitor both spring phytoplankton blooms (~March) and deep water renewal events (August) by flying along trajectories in the central Strait.
Visit the Data Plot Galleries section of the web site to browse the latest plots of data from the Strait of Georgia.
Introduction to the Strait of Georgia (backgrounder)
View pre-generated data plots from the Strait of Georgia below. Or view pre-generated data from the instrument of your choice using our Data Preview tool
Download data from the Strait of Georgia via the Data Search page.
Depth: 170 m
Setting: Inland basin
Studies: Marine mammals, water properties, currents