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.
Expedition 341S of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program will focus on two challenging deep ocean engineering projects, both located near sites on the 800 kilometre NEPTUNE cabled observatory.
One mission will replace an existing CORK (circulation obviating retrofit kit) observatory near Middle Valley rift, 2400 metres beneath the sea, on the northern Juan de Fuca ridge.
The other mission will deploy a new subsea instrument—SCIMPI, or simple cable instrument for measuring properties in situ— near ODP 889 (newly renamed the Clayoquot Basin) in 1250 metres water depth.
The expedition’s Co-Chief Scientist is Ian Kulin, Associate Director Marine Operations at Ocean Networks Canada. He is joined by SCIMPI scientist (and ONC President) Kate Moran, and Benoit Pirenne, Associate Director, Digital Infrastructure. Also sailing with Expedition 341S are key members of the SCIMPI development team: Tania Lado Insua, Stephen Farrington, Patrick Sherwood, Michael Riedel (also a Co-Chief Scientist) and Gerry Iturrino.
Joining the expedition for a different reason, Sarah Thornton is a Senior Lab Instructor with the University of Victoria’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences. Along with 17 other teachers from the U.S. and Canada, Sarah is taking part in the “School of Rock”, a professional development workshop for educators that will have her working alongside scientists and crew involved in the JR’s engineering missions.
Working in the same region of the Northeast Pacific Ocean as the JOIDES Resolution, Ocean Networks Canada is winding up its month long ocean expedition with the Canadian Coast Guard ship John P. Tully. This has been the first maintenance and research cruise to service both the VENUS and NEPTUNE observatories.
It is also the first time the Wiring the Abyss 2013 expedition website covers two concurrent ocean expeditions. Since April 28, shipboard staff have been sharing cruise experiences in the Salish Sea and offshore Vancouver Island, from on board the CCGS Tully.
Now we invite you to also check regularly for daily highlights from our JOIDES Resolution blog. You’ll find mission updates from Kate, Ian and Benoit, as well as photos and background information on the people and the science behind the SCIMPI and CORK missions—during this IOPD Expedition 341S to the Northeast Pacific Ocean, May 20 to 29.