Posted by: cherylyoung | August 5, 2012

Neptune undersea observatory off B.C coast comlete

 

NEPTUNE undersea observatory off B.C. coast
 complete
By Jeff Bell, Victoria Times Colonist
 

  
Billed as the world’s largest undersea cabled

observatory, NEPTUNE consists of five main

data-collection sites off the west coast of

Vancouver Island.

VICTORIA —  

  They are spread over an expanse of the ocean floor

 and connected by an 800-kilometre loop of fibre-optic

 cable.

 

The final link in the NEPTUNE chain was completed

 this week at Endeavour Ridge, a volcanically active

area of undersea mountains about 300 kilometres

from land.

 

The node there has been outfitted with instruments

and the final lengths of cable have been laid, essentially

 completing the data network.

 

 The installation team has just returned from a month

at sea.

 

 

“This is sort of the end of the beginning.

It’s going to be constantly evolving and growing over

the next 25 years,” said NEPTUNE Canada’s Mairi Best.

 

It’s now poised to bring in more than 60 terabytes of

data in the next quarter-century — the equivalent

 of the text contained in about 60 million books —

yielding information about biological, chemical and

geological processes, which can be applied to all

manner of research.

 

Best said the application of the data collected could

include insight into earthquakes, since NEPTUNE’s

area of coverage includes the Juan de Fuca plate.

 

“Obviously, things that tell us more about earthquake

 risks and tsunami risks are hugely valuable, also

things like understanding how gas-hydrates work.”

 Pollution and climate change are other key areas

 of study that could benefit from subsea data, Best said.

 

 

The project has been created with more than

$100 million in funding from the federal and

provincial governments.

 

Its name stands for North-East Pacific Time-Series

 Underwater Networked Experiments, indicating both

its location and its goal of providing 25 years of

continuous information from beneath the ocean’s surface.

 

In keeping with the planetary theme, it has a smaller,

coast-oriented sister project named VENUS —

Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea.

 

 The fully intact network bodes well for the larger

scientific community, Best said.

 

“It really has shown that we can get data flowing from

 all of these really difficult areas that have been very

inaccessible.

 

It’s very encouraging, for us and for everyone involved

 with this kind of process around the world.”

Completing work at Endeavour Ridge and placing the

last of the cable was especially challenging because of

the unique subsurface topography, said NEPTUNE

Canada’s Lucie Pautet.

She said a high-definition survey of the ridge bottom

located a route after none had seemed apparent.

 

A remotely operated underwater vehicle was used for

 the project.

Federal contributions for the project have come through

 the Canadian Foundation for Innovation,

 the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research

Council, and Canada’s Advanced Research and

Innovation Network. Provincial money has been

provided through the B.C. Knowledge

 Development Fund.

CHERYL YOUNG, REALTOR

SAANICH PENINSULA REALTY

SIDNEY B.C

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA

IF YOU ARE THING OF BUYING OR SELLING A HOME IN

VICTORIA, I CAN HELP YOU.

www.cherylyoung.ca

FOR MORE INFORMATION CHECK OUT MY FACEBOOK

http://www.facebook.com

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