Researchers to visit site where 2,000 earthquakes rumbled off Vancouver Island in 1 day

Researchers to visit site where 2,000 earthquakes rumbled off Vancouver Island in 1 day
E/V Nautilus will carry a crew of researchers out to the Neptune observatory starting on June 6, 2024.

A team of researchers from Ocean Networks Canada will set out to visit the site where 2,000 earthquakes were recorded in a day off Vancouver Island earlier this year.

Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) will set sail aboard Exploration Vessel Nautilus for a 21-day maintenance and exploration mission.

The ONCabyss Summer 2024 expedition marks the eighth year of partnership between ONC, which is an initiative of the University of Victoria and the Ocean Exploration Trust.

The main objectives of the 21-day expedition (June 6-26) is to maintain the observatory sensors and instruments connected to ONC’s 800-kilometre subsea cabled observatory, called Neptune, which off the west coast of Vancouver Island.

A major highlight of the expedition, according to Meghan Paulson from Ocean Networks Canada, is it will be the first visit to the Endeavour site since a notification that 200 earthquakes occurred per hour back at the beginning of March.

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“In March we recorded over 2,000 earthquakes in one day with our sensors. We are watching in real-time so we are going to visit the Endeavour site,” said Paulson.

Paulson is also excited to collect more data from the device that displayed spiked activity gathered when many on Vancouver Island witnessed the solar storm eclipse.

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“During one of the large solar storms we noticed that one of the compasses were really off. When we go there and visually look at them we don’t expect to see anything different because that’s the internal electronics, but it was a really interesting multi-use of our instruments,” added Paulson.

Some of the the sensors along the 800-kilometre subsea cable help provide a wide range of services, including climate impact monitoring, as well as earthquake and tsunami detection and notification.

Viewers worldwide wanting to join the team aboard the ship in real-time can do so through a 24-hour live-streaming video on, and on social media.

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