On the evening of May 19th, the scientific ocean drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution (JR) set out from Victoria B.C. for nine days in the deep Pacific waters off shore Vancouver Island, with excited staff from Ocean Networks Canada and the University of Victoria on board.
For over three decades, a fundemental goal for scientific ocean drilling has been to understand the role of the presence and flow of water in marine geologic formations on processes like heat loss from the earth, chemical exchange between the Earth’s oceans and crust, support of subseafloor microbiological ecosystems, and the creation of methane-hydrates and ore deposits. The quality of direct observations is commonly compromised by a simple problem: boreholes create hydrologic “short circuits” that allow open exchange of water between subseafloor formations and the ocean. The resulting perturbations severely limit the utility of temperature and pressure observations and of water samples taken during or shortly after drilling operations.
On June 11, NEPTUNE Canada reached the halfway point for Wiring the Abyss 2012, this summer’s installation and maintenance cruise. Part of the original crew who set sail on May 27 returned to dry land at Bamfield after a very busy two weeks. They were replaced by a new contingent of crew members, who will remain with the ship until cruise end on 26 June. If you have been following on our cruise page, you’ll know that the first two weeks were very busy indeed!
The JOIDES Resolution research drillship, a key vessel in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), was docked in Victoria this summer for three months of refit work before heading out on two cruises in July and September.
The Juan de Fuca Plate is a hot-spot of scientific ocean drilling. Since ODP expedition 139 in 1991, numerous boreholes have been drilled in the...