Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) is poised to head out to sea on a month-long expedition with two world-class ships, to conduct annual operations and maintenance on the observatories off the west coast of Canada.
Both the exploration vessel E/V Nautilus, and the research vessel R/V Thompson will be providing a rare undersea portal to the Salish Sea and the Pacific Ocean, by way of remotely operated vehicles equipped with high definition video cameras.
Everyone—from scientists to science students to people of all ages with an interest in the deep sea—is invited to join via live streaming video of every dive to the seafloor. Interaction with scientists, educators and crew on board both ships will be available 24/7, as operations continue around the clock.
The first leg of the expedition, from 25 August to 3 September, will feature E/V Nautilus, the ship and communications team of world-renowned ocean explorer, Bob Ballard. This first leg will focus on ONC observatory sites in the Salish Sea. Expedition goals include:
- servicing all the instrument platforms;
- installing a new 3D camera;
- deploying pigs carcasses for forensic research;
- installing a new sensor system to measure underwater landslides;
- servicing moorings;
- collecting samples.
Leg two runs from 4 to 16 September, when the E/V Nautilus will be joined by R/V Thompson. The two state-of-the art ships will be heading offshore Vancouver Island with stops at five deep sea and coastal observatory sites in the Pacific.
Their path will span a wide variety of seafloor environments— from rocky coast to submarine canyons and across an abyssal plain to the hydrothermal vents at Endeavour, 300 kilometres off the west coast of Canada. Expedition goals include:
- servicing instrument platforms;
- deploying autonomous moorings at the Barkley Canyon site;
- repairing the hydrophone array at Clayoquot Slope;
- connecting the tsunami array at Cascadia Basin;
- recovering the Cabled Observatory Vent Imaging Sonar at Endeavour;
- maintaining Tempo-mini at Endeavour;
- conducting high tech photogrammetry surveys at Endeavour and Barkley Canyon.
Up-to-the moment dive plans and shipboard activities will be posted on the ONCAbyss website and @Ocean_Networks.
Be there for ocean exploration as it happens, from 25 August to 16 September, with Ocean Networks Canada.