Speaker: Dr. Brian D. Bornhold
(Professor & Project Scientist, NEPTUNE Canada, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC)
Title of Seminar: "NEPTUNE Canada Regional Cabled Seafloor Observatory - A Real-Time, Multidisciplinary Marine Research Platform from Beach to Abyss"
[Host: Dr. R.I. Hall]
All are welcome!
Abstract: NEPTUNE Canada is operating a regional cabled ocean observatory across the northern Juan de Fuca Plate. Installation of the first instruments was completed in 2009; the system provides continuous power and bandwidth to collect data on physical, chemical, geological, and biological parameters at resolutions relevant to the dynamics of the earth-ocean system.
In 2007, 800km of powered fiber-optic backbone cable were installed. The network entailed: development of Nodes and Junction Boxes; acquisition/development and testing of instruments and mobile platforms (Vertical Profiler System; seabed Crawler); and integration of over a thousand subsea components into an operating system. Nodes, extension cables, junction boxes, and instruments were installed at 4 of 5 sites in 2009; the fifth will be instrumented in September 2010. A web environment (Oceans 2.0) to combine the data access with analysis and visualization, collaborative tools, interoperability, and instrument control is evolving. A network of scientists and technicians is contributing to the process in every phase.
Initial experiments were planned through a series of workshops and international proposal competitions. At Folger Passage (17 m depth), marine processes are studied and linked to productivity. Experiments at Barkley Canyon allow quantification of biological and chemical activity associated with cross-shelf, through water column and canyon nutrient and sediment transport. There, and north along the continental slope, exposed and shallowly buried gas hydrates are being studied to detect changes in their distribution, structure and venting. Circulation obviation retrofit kits (CORKs) at mid-plate Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) 1026-7 (2700 m depth) monitor changes in crustal temperature and pressure, related to earthquakes, hydrothermal convection or regional plate strain. At Endeavour Ridge, interactions among volcanic, tectonic, hydrothermal and biological processes will be quantified at the western edge of the plate. Across the network, high resolution seismic information elucidates tectonic processes and a tsunami system allows determination of open ocean tsunami amplitude, propagation direction and speed. The infrastructure has capacity to to expand. Further information and opportunities can be found at: http://www.neptunecanada.ca