About the Observatories

Northeast Pacific Salish Sea  Arctic community observatory
  • Situated off the west coast of Vancouver Island, extending 300 km offshore, down the continental slope and across the Juan De Fuca tectonic plate
  • Situated between Vancouver Island and the Mainland in the Strait of Georgia and Saanich Inlet 
  • Situated approximately 50 m off the community dock in CambridgeBay, Nunavut
  • 850 km loop of fibre optic cables
  • 44 km array of fibre optic cables 
  • Community observatory
  • 5 operational nodes
  • 4 operational nodes; coastal radars; undwerwater gliders; instrumentation mounted on ferries
  • 1 operational node + weather station on the dock
  • Depths: 23 m - 2660 m
  • Depths: surface - 300 m
  • Depth: 6 m

The Ocean Networks Canada supports transformative coastal to deep ocean research and technology. It enables real-time interactive experiments, focused on ocean health, ecosystems, resources, natural hazards, climate change and marine conservation. This national facility is led by the University of Victoria for a pan-Canadian consortium of universities and partners.

The observatories collect continuous real-time measurements of temperature, salinity, oxygen, density, pressure, carbon dioxide, video footage, hydrophone recordings and many other properties. Data are considered real-time because they are streamed within seconds collection, allowing researchers and the public the opportunity to analyze changes in ocean properties first-hand from the comfort of their labs or homes.

Benefits of real-time data from the deep-sea:

  • Increased scientific knowledge of the marine ecosystem and its processes
  • Increased understanding of human impacts
  • Natural hazard detection and warning for coastal communities
  • Education opportunities

Science Plan Summary