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Aug 16, 2013
In the terrestrial world, we rely heavily on optics and our vision, and less so on acoustics and hearing. In the ocean, the opposite is true. In coastal waters, light only travels relatively short distances (5-20m), so marine animals use light for sensing only the very near-field environment, while sound can travel huge distances (1-1000km), and informs marine animals of distant features and events. Marine scientists also take advantage of the efficiency with which sound travels in the ocean, and use it to both investigate and listen to phenomena over long distances.
Aug 6, 2013
The Fraser River reaches the ocean near Vancouver, and there the fresh water it carries mixes with ocean water to form a thin plume of buoyant brackish water, which according to one oceanographer is the “showpiece of the Strait of Georgia.” Oceanographers have been studying the Fraser River plume since at least the 1960s, but more recently, VENUS has installed a radar system to measure the surface currents in this region.
Aug 5, 2013
Passive acoustic monitoring of marine mammals is a growing research theme on both the VENUS and NEPTUNE observatories. Universit of Victoria Co-op student Kristen Kanes works with the Ocean Networks Canada Innovation Centre (formerly Centre for Enterprise and Engagement, ONCCEE) to process passive acoustic data from their technology demonstrations. Together with John Dorocicz, Acoustic Systems Developer, the two “listeners” publicize the highlights from these data within relevant research communities.
Jun 3, 2013
Recent research shows that there are subtle variations to the time of zooplankton ascent and decent during the year, which might be attributed to both food supply and zooplankton life-cycle (body size).
Apr 30, 2013
The MicroSquid experiment seeks to understand what drives changes in the rate of oxygen consumption by organisms living in and on seafloor sediment.
Apr 27, 2013
Forensic research in the ocean is a few steps closer to better understanding of the decomposition processes in marine environments.
Mar 21, 2013
ONC staff have co-authored another Journal of Acoustical Society of America (JASA) paper in conjunction with first author Nathan D. Merchant of the University of Bath and researchers from the University of Aberdeen. ONC's Tom Dakin, Sensor and Instrument Technology business development officer, and John Dorocicz, Acoustic Systems Developer, contributed to the manuscript, and Jeff Bosma and Richard Dewey also assisted with field work for the paper, "Spectral probability density as a tool for ambient noise analysis."
Feb 20, 2013
Since February 2006 VENUS has been collecting data on one of the first advanced ocean observatory systems. This full length time series from Saanich Inlet reveals seven full seasons of variability.
Nov 5, 2012
The time lapse captures changes on the seafloor in Saanich Inlet at 96 metres depth as recorded by a VENUS camera in May 2012.
Oct 24, 2012
Oct 15, 2012
After more than a year in the making, we are happy to release our latest publication, An Invitation to Science, available in print, downloadable pdf and iBook formats.
Oct 3, 2012
Using data collected between Dec. 2011 and Apr. 2012 from an Ocean Sonics low frequency hydrophone that was deployed at the VENUS Strait of Georgia East site, this publication assesses various methods for averaging local shipping noise levels.
Oct 2, 2012
For the past two years, 2 benthic crawlers, Wally I and Wally II have served alternating stints helping scientists at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany explore and study the uniquely dynamic environment of the gas hydrate outcrops in Barkley Canyon. Each time we swap out one Wally from the seafloor, the other Wally takes its place on the seafloor. With each replacement we have seen improvements in the replacement crawler's instrumentation and capabilities. The currently deployed Wally I is no exception.
Sep 26, 2012
Sep 12, 2012
A group of researchers have successfully identified a new dinoflagellate species. Part of the large group of eukaryotes (approx. 1555 species), the new species has distinct morphological characteristics and was named Archaeperidinium saanichisp.nov. after Saanich Inlet, the place where, using a VENUS sediment trap, Dr. Vera Pospelova and her MSc student – Andrea Price collected samples and conducted their research that led to a publication in Marine Micropaleontology (see reference below).
Sep 5, 2012
A magnitude 8.8 earthquake struck Chile in February 2010, generating a tsunami that crossed the Pacific, with measurable waves recorded throughout coastal British Columbia. A recent paper, published in Pure and Applied Geophysics, describes this tsunami in detail and compares it to the Great Chilean earthquake and tsunami of May 1960.
Aug 27, 2012
It’s hardly been a case of “all play and no work” for Wally the Crawler. Researchers in Germany and Canada have been making heavy use of Wally and the unique data this deep-sea crawler gathers among the gas hydrates outcrops of Barkley Canyon. A recent paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters details their recent findings, which have implications for changes we may expect as Earth’s climate warms.
Jul 30, 2012
Image captured by VENUS camera in Saanich Inlet in mid June. Dungeness crab mating is a complex affair.
May 23, 2012
The seafloor is, arguably, one of the most extensive habitats on the planet and it is significantly understudied. It is home to a variety of benthic organisms that spend much, if not all, of their time on the bottom sliding along or ploughing through sediment. Some organisms are deposit-feeders that ingest sediments, absorb their organic content, and excrete faecal strings or pellets; other organisms are burrowers that actively mix sediments vertically. This process by which organisms mix up sediment, is known as bioturbation
Mar 26, 2012
Saanich Inlet is home to 2 species that are new to science: an anemone (shown in the above photo) that lives at 100 m depth remains to be described (Synhalcurias n.sp.) while the white sea squirt (shown below) was described several years ago as Bathypera feminalba. The name means “White Lady” – reflecting the white colour and the location in Saanich Inlet where it was collected: White Lady Rocks.
Mar 16, 2012
An intense windstorm left thousands of Vancouver Islanders out of power and forced BC Ferries to suspend service to the mainland on the 22nd. Wind gusts exceeding 110km/h were recorded in places, as a train of intense low pressure systems struck Vancouver Island's west coast one after another. Data from Folger Deep revealed some interesting trends. At storm onset, oxygen concentrations increased significantly, probably due to mixing from wave action, and then levelled out. Water temperature also increased during the early stages of the storm. Salinity, on the other hand, dropped throughout the event.
Feb 21, 2012
Fin whales are the world’s 2nd largest whale species (blue whales are the largest). These majestic creatures inhabit temperate to sub-arctic waters in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Within the Pacific Ocean basin, there are at least 3 geographically distinct populations. In the North Pacific Ocean, fin whales have been observed as far north as the Chukchi Sea during the summer months while in winter, they spend their time off the coasts of Korea and Japan in the West Pacific, and off northern Baja California in the East Pacific.
Feb 3, 2012
Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs) are instruments used in our subsea network and other oceanographic applications to measure the currents. We collect data from two types of ADCPs, manufactured by Nortek and RDI. These ADCPs use “sound beams” to measure water movement. Sound pulses are sent out in three or four different directions from the instrument; when sound waves strike suspended objects such as tiny particles or zooplankton, some of the energy is reflected back to the ADCP where it is detected by the instrument’s transducers. The received signal intensity gives an indication of the abundance of particles within the water. The Doppler shift of the received signal for each beam is used to determine the current velocity.
Dec 9, 2011
Gas hydrates are ice-like solids composed of natural gas, usually methane in marine environments, and water. Hydrates are known to exist in the Cascadia margin, west of Vancouver Island, beneath the seafloor. Sediment stiffness is increased by frozen hydrates, like ice in winter mud. The degree of stiffness is an indicator of the amount of hydrate present per unit volume. Gas hydrate outcrops, venting and topography in the Cascadia margin have been intensively studied and are observed to change over time. Does the volume of hydrates also change with time? University of Toronto researchers Lisa Roach and Nigel Edwards are trying to find out.
Nov 30, 2011
During the last few years, engineering and science teams at Ifremer, France's national public institute for marine research have developedTempo-Mini: a custom-designed instrument package for real-time monitoring of hydrothermal vent communities and their environment.
Oct 31, 2011
For the past four years, the Paleoenvironmental Laboratory of Dr. Vera Pospelova (University of Victoria, SEOS) has been involved in continuous monitoring program of fossilizable phytoplankton in Saanich Inlet, British Columbia.
Sep 21, 2011
Wally the Crawler underwent the ultimate stress test on Sunday. After entering the water tethered beneath the Remotely Operated Vehicle ROPOS, strong waves apparently sprung Wally loose. He took an 870 m free dive from the sea surface to the seafloor at Barkley Hydrates.
Sep 20, 2011
The Zooplankton Acoustic Profiler (ZAP) located at the base of the slope of the Fraser Delta recorded this hourly image of echo-sounder data on September 5, 2011 ( just after dusk and at rising tide). The image reveals a dense school of large fish between 10 and 20m depth, and many individual fish between 20 and 80m depth.
Aug 22, 2011
The Folger Pinnacle instrument platform was installed on August 23, 2010 (watch the installation cruise highlights) and connected on February 2, 2011 by a combined team of Pelagic Technologies divers, the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (BMSC), and Ocean Networks Canada. Since then, a wealth of data has been gathered by instruments affixed to this 23m deep platform. However, in recent months, Dilumie Abeysirigunawardena, one of our data specialists, noticed a drop in the instruments’ data quality and sensitivity.
Apr 20, 2011
Researchers at the University of Victoria wondered if crowd sourcing might be harnessed to identify and classify fish swimming through Ocean Networks Canada’s many hundreds of hours of underwater video archives. Two biology instructors, Thomas Reimchen and Roswitha Marx along with graduate assistant Steve Leaver conducted a unique experiment this spring, engaging an ichthyology (fish zoology) class in fish identification exercises via SeaTube, our underwater video viewer.
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