Every year we undertake three or four expeditions to maintain and upgrade the deep sea ocean observing infrastructure that Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) manages on behalf of all Canadians. From 6 August – 2 September, a nine-person ONC team will spend almost four weeks onboard state-of-the-art exploration vessel EV Nautilus (Figure 1), owned and operated by Ocean Exploration Trust. This will be our sixth major expedition in collaboration with this exceptional team.
For several days during the expedition, the EV Nautilus will be joined by CS Cable Innovator, the largest cable-laying ship in the world (Figure 2). During this dynamic dual-ship operation, a new solution fibre optic cable will be laid at the Endeavour hydrothermal vents field (depth 2,200 metres) and ONC’s deepest site Cascadia Basin (depth 2,600 metres).
Preparing for an expedition requires months of behind-the-scenes work by our dedicated staff. In addition to testing and calibrating the instruments at our Marine Technology Centre (Figures 3 and 4), ONC’s data stewardship team are also busy optimizing the data and metadata flowing from the instruments to our data management portal Oceans 2.0.
"Preparing for an upcoming expedition is a busy time for ONC,” comments GIS (geographic information systems) specialist Adrienne Shumlich—who will be working onboard EV Nautilus this year. “One of the tasks assigned to GIS specialists is to create operational maps, complete with instruments, cables, and bathymetry, (showing the depth of the seafloor). This helps to inform both the onboard and onshore teams where instruments are currently located. GIS specialists also work with the engineering and science teams to decide exactly where new instruments will be installed. There are several parameters to consider, including slope requirements, cable lengths, proximity to other instruments and avoiding certain geological features, such as hydrothermal vents.”
There will be an opportunity to meet Adrienne and other members of the onboard and onshore expedition team during an interactive preview event at 2pm on Wednesday 11 August (Figure 5). Meet the team, ask questions and find out about the tech, data and research highlights during this exciting 4-week expedition. No registration required, watch the preview event on Nautilus Live’s YouTube channel.
WATCH LIVE starting 6 August – 2 September.