Billowing Chimneys of Endeavour Vent Field
During the Wiring the Abyss expedition, the Nautilus team surveyed one of the most hostile environments on our planet--chimneys rising from the seafloor spewing fluid superheated by magma! At the Endeavour hydrothermal vent field, located 2200m deep offshore Vancouver Island, Canada, earth's tectonic plates are spreading apart. In some places, water is being drawn down below the surface and superheated by the magma (to temperatures over 400°C/750°F), and expelled through hydrothermal vents. These vents deposit dissolved minerals which build up to become large chimneys.
This expedition marks the fourth season of E/V Nautilus exploring Canadian waters in partnership with Ocean Networks Canada. The main objective of this expedition is to provide maintenance and support of Ocean Networks Canada’s NEPTUNE observatory located off the west coast of Canada. This 800 km loop of fiber optic cable supplies continuous power and Internet connectivity to a broad suite of subsea instruments, enabling scientists to operate instruments remotely and receive data at their home laboratories anywhere on the globe in real time.