E/V Nautilus will launch her third season in the Pacific Ocean exploring Canadian waters with Ocean Networks Canada (ONC). ONC operates world-leading cabled ocean observatories that supply continuous power and Internet connectivity to a broad suite of subsea instruments. The ONC NEPTUNE observatory installation, off Vancouver Island’s west coast, spans one of the widest ranges of ocean environments found anywhere in the world.
The observatories allow scientists to operate instruments remotely and receive data at their home laboratories anywhere on the globe in real time. Each of the NEPTUNE observatory’s five nodes are instrumented with a diverse suite of sensors that enable researchers to study interactions among geological, chemical, physical, and biological processes that drive the dynamic earth-ocean system over a broad spectrum of oceanic environments. These long-term observations have wide-ranging policy applications in the areas of climate change, earthquakes and tsunamis, port security and shipping, sovereignty and security, and ocean sound management.
Nautilus will visit all five nodes along the NEPTUNE observatory: Strait of Juan de Fuca, Barkley Canyon, Clayoquot Slope, Cascadia Basin, and Endeavour Vent Field. The main objectives of this expedition are to provide maintenance and support of the 800 km loop of fiber optic cable that connects nodes along the observatory. In addition to deploying and recovering various observatory sensors and instruments, Nautilus will conduct dual-ship operations with cable ship (C/S) Cable Innovator to repair a damaged and inoperable cable at Clayoquot Slope. Nautilus will also conduct seafloor mapping surveys and ROV surveys and sampling.