White Paper Title: 
NEPTUNE Canada installations at Endeavour Ridge

NEPTUNE Canada is operating a regional cabled ocean observatory across the northern Juan de Fuca Plate in the northeastern Pacific. Installation of the first suite of instruments and connectivity equipment was completed in 2009, and Endeavour Ridge is being instrumented in September 2010, This system now provides the 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 ridge is a very dynamic system, with many processes occurring episodically, so having a long continuous, high resolution and concurrent data set is essential to understand it. Beyond the continous data streams, NC provides the opportunity to react to events with control of instruments that cannot be operating continuously (e.g. water sampling, images acquisition). Some opportunities for integration and collaboration include:

Seismologic network and ridge tectonics

  • This will allow accurate location of seismic events at the ridge

  • Events will be automatically detected in real time

  • Detected events can trigger detailed observations:

    • Temporary increase of sampling rate

    • Pictures

    • Water Samples

    • Events sent out by email, text message, or automatic response of instruments

  • Boreholes (maybe BPRs) acting as monuments can be used to monitor tectonic uplift and subsidence and response to local seismic events

  • Elucidation of the structure of the ridge and mantle beneath. Longer time-series results in better images and show variations over time.

Hydrothermal vent monitoring

  • COVIS (Cabled Observatory Vent Imaging Sonar) Monitoring individual vent 3D plume structure and flow characteristics

  • Sampling physical and chemical water properties as a response to events.

  • Continuous temperature and resistivity, to monitor heat and chemical exchanges between the earth’s crust and ocean

Regional circulation monitoring

  • Currents and water properties (temperature and salinity) in rift valley, to establish background circulation and water property structure for all experiments at the vent sites.

  • Proxy measurement of the integrated hydrothermal fluid flux, through the seabreeze effect.

Vent ecology

  • Digital camera

  • Tempo-mini: camera with oxygen, temperature probes and chemical analyser.

  • Microbial incubator for study of (geo)microbial processes

  • Long-term surveys: follow changes in community structure and dynamics (species composition and abundances, interactions within and among species)

  • Time-series studies provide a mean of studying population dynamics, biological rhythms, organism growth, faunal succession, biological interactions as well as the response of species and communities to environmental changes at different temporal scales (i.e. from minutes to years)

  • In the case of the Marine Protected Area, Endeavour vent field, it is important to understand the dynamics of the ecosystem and the speed of its evolution for a better ecosystem and resource management.