In late April Ocean Networks Canada embarks on a series of maintenance cruises to service both the VENUS and NEPTUNE cabled observatories. Over the next 2 months, we’ll execute 3 of our 8 2013 expeditions, including two back-to-back cruises on the CCGS John P. Tully (April-May) servicing facilities first in the Salish Sea (VENUS) and then off-shore at Folger Passage and Barkley Canyon (NEPTUNE).
Following the Tully cruises in May, the deepest installations of ONC at Endeavour Ridge will be serviced by the R/V Thomas G. Thompson. Two science support expeditions in August and September on the R/V Falkor will precede our final maintenance cruise of 2013 in late October.
Be sure to visit our cruise website “Wiring the Abyss” for daily updates, current ship locations, photos, stories, blogs, and video highlights.
VENUS and ONCCEE on the Tully On April 29 after noon, the CCGS John P. Tully casts off from the IOS dock on Patricia Bay east of Sidney for the first leg of a month-long expedition. The first 10 days are focusing on the VENUS sites in Saanich Inlet and the Strait of Georgia, including both the Central and East nodes, plus the re-installation of the Delta Dynamics Laboratory at the mouth of the Fraser River. Expedition Leader Richard Dewey and engineer Paul Macoun are leading a core crew of 15 scientists, engineers and technicians. Highlights during the first leg include the servicing of the forensics experiments in Saanich Inlet, a complete re-installation of the Fraser River Delta Dynamics Laboratory, the deployment of numerous hydrophone listening systems in the Strait of Georgia, and the installation of a dedicated bottom boundary layer experiment led by Dalhousie researchers.
Proximity to shore during Leg 1 allows for day trips by scientists from both the island and the mainland to observe and support the deployments of their experiments. To enable observatory maintenance on this cruise, we welcome back the ROV “Oceanic Explorer” and a team from CanPac Divers. ONCCEE’s Sensor & Instrument technology demonstration team under Tom Dakin, are also on board installing new instruments and platforms in support of Canadian technology partners.
NEPTUNE’s offshore observatory in the Northeast Pacific On May 8, the Tully returns briefly to port to exchange crew and set a course for NEPTUNE’s regional network in deeper waters west of Vancouver Island. During Leg 2, Ian Kulin is now Expedition Leader, overseeing maintenance and research operations at Barkley Canyon and Folger Passage. Highlights include: maintenance of near shore nodes (<1000m) including six instrument platforms and as many as 60 instruments—from video cameras and methane sensors to sea-bottom crawlers; new instruments to measure oxygen, track vocalizing sea mammals, and delineate the growth of gas hydrate mounds; and a comprehensive water properties sampling plan designed to understand the spring-time dynamics of deep low oxygen water.
On May 17, with Adrian Round as Expedition Leader, the Tully transits into Effingham Inlet, north of Bamfield, on an excursion to study the relationship between oxygen content in the fjord and the continental shelf.
The Tully is scheduled to return to The Institute of Ocean Sciences on May 28.
Major objectives of the Tully expedition
April 29 to May 8/Leg 1
- Recover and swap forensic experiments at Saanich Inlet
- Deploy and connect new mini-node at Delta Dynamics Lab (Fraser Delta site)
- Install new slope stability piezometer at Delta Dynamics Lab
- Install ONCCEE systems at the Delta Dynamics and Strait of Georgia East 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 from Saanich Inlet
May 9 to May 28/Leg 2
- Recover, maintain and redeploy Folger Deep instrument platform
- Recover, maintain and redeploy five Barkley Canyon pods (instrument platforms) and surrounding instruments
- Recover, maintain and redeploy Barkley Hydrates instrument platform
- Install sonar system at Barkley Hydrates
- Perform sampling at all Folger Passage and Barkley Canyon sites and in Effingham Inlet.