2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-4:45 PM

NEPTUNE Canada Regional Cabled Observatory: Transforming Ocean Science

BEST, M.M.R.1, BORNHOLD, B.D.2 and BARNES, Christopher R.1, (1)NEPTUNE Canada, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 1700 Stn CSC, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2, Canada, (2)Coastal and Ocean Resources Inc, A-300 Vanalman Ave, Victoria, BC V8Z 3B8, Canada, mmrbest@uvic.ca

NEPTUNE Canada is installing an 800km regional cabled ocean observatory across the northern Juan de Fuca Plate in the northeastern Pacific. When completed in 2009, this system will provide continuous power and bandwidth to collect integrated data on physical, chemical, geological, and biological gradients at temporal resolutions relevant to the dynamics of the earth-ocean system. The similar adjacent US OOI Regional Scale Nodes should be operational by 2014.

At inshore Folger Passage, Barkley Sound, understanding controls on biological productivity will help evaluate the effects that marine processes have on fish and marine mammals. Experiments around Barkley Canyon will allow quantification of changes in biological and chemical activity associated with nutrient and cross-shelf sediment transport around the shelf/slope break and through the canyon to the deep sea. There and north along the mid-continental slope, exposed and shallowly buried gas hydrates allow monitoring of changes in their distribution, structure, and venting, particularly related to earthquakes, slope failures and regional plate motions. Circulation obviation retrofit kits (CORKs) at mid-plate ODP 1026-7 will monitor in realtime changes in crustal temperature and pressure, particularly as they relate to events such as earthquakes, hydrothermal convection or regional plate strain. At Endeavour Ridge, complex interactions among volcanic, tectonic, hydrothermal and biological processes will be quantified at the western edge of the Juan de Fuca plate. Across the network, high resolution seismic information will elucidate tectonic processes such as earthquakes, and a tsunami system will allow determination of open ocean tsunami amplitude, propagation direction, and speed.

NEPTUNE Canada will transform our understanding of biological, chemical, physical, and geological processes across an entire tectonic plate from the shelf to the deep sea (17-2700m). Real-time continuous monitoring and archiving allows scientists to capture the temporal nature, characteristics, and linkages of these natural processes in a way never before possible.