Launching from July 21-August 4, the Wiring the Abyss 2018 Expedition will provide maintenance and support of Ocean Networks Canada’s NEPTUNE observatory located off the west coast of Canada. In addition to deploying, recovering, and providing maintenance for various observatory sensors and instruments, Nautilus will also conduct seafloor mapping surveys, ROV surveys, and sampling. The cruise will include work at various NEPTUNE observatory sites including: Barkley Canyon, Clayoquot Slope, Cascadia Basin, and Endeavour. This cruise marks the fourth continuous year of the partnership between Ocean Networks Canada and the Ocean Exploration Trust.
Highlights include an exciting new neutrino experiment at Cascadia Basin to determine whether this location can support a large-scale neutrino detector array in the future; expanded instrumentation at Endeavour, including new sensors and cameras to improve our understanding of this dynamic hydrothermal vent ecosystem; installation of the final earthquake early warning seafloor sensors at Cascadia Basin, Barkley Canyon, and Clayoquot Slope; and reinstallation of the refurbished vertical profiling system at Barkley Canyon’s upper slope.
Expedition Objectives and Dive Sites
The primary objectives for equipment deployments, recoveries, and maintenance at multiple NEPTUNE observatory sites that will be visited during this cruise include:
Juan de Fuca Strait: Recovery and deployment of moorings
Cascadia Basin: Perform deployments, recoveries, and maintenance of various instruments including: CTD (conductivity, temperature & depth sensor), tsunami array communication module, neutrino-detecting moorings, and install Earthquake Early Warning accelerometer and tilt meter
Main Endeavour Field: This active hydrothermal vent site is known for its massive black smoker chimneys. Perform deployments, recoveries, and maintenance of various instruments including: BARS, seismometer string, Tempo-mini, and autonomous seismometer
Clayoquot Slope: Perform deployments, recoveries, and maintenance of various instruments including: CORK, hydrophone, Titan accelerometer, ADCP, and CTD
Barkley Canyon: Perform deployments, recoveries, and maintenance of various instruments including: camera, hydrophones, Vertical Profiler System, Titan accelerometer and sediment trap