The Original Venus



What is VENUS?

Join us on-line, real-time at the bottom of the ocean around Victoria and Vancouver! The Victoria Network Under the Sea is an ambitious project to conduct coastal oceanogrpahy in an innovative and informative way. VENUS is a proposed network of instruments in the ocean to observe the seafloor waters off our coast. Measurements, images and sound will be delivered to scientists, managers, the public and an archive via fibre-optic cables laid from three landfall sites. That cable will also deliver power for instruments, lights and robots. For the first time, we will not have to wait for data from recovered instruments - it will be delivered immediately as events in the ocean unfold. The innovation of this array lies in three areas:

  • scientists will have to redesign their own protocols as they will now be able to interact with the ocean full-time via cable;
  • instruments will no longer be limited by power requirements thus new designs can be supported;
  • a centralized data management and archive base will interact with the public and allow data mining of long-term observations.

    The Straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca are among the most heavily used bodies of water in Canada for a multitude of purposes. Our network of sensors will return information on the behaviour of these water bodies and the seafloor. The prototype line 4 km into Saanich Inlet from Pat Bay will focus on design development of seafloor junction boxes and a water column profiler designed to travel, on command, up through the water from a bottom station. A major line will cross the Strait of Georgia from the Tsawassen ferry terminal and support instruments across the Strait to measure water properties, seismic events, whale acoustics and fish migrations among other studies. A spur line along the Fraser Delta front will support a major project to monitor the stability of the Delta, which is prone to collapse events. A third line in Juan de Fuca Strait south of Race Rocks will provide essential information to connect offshore events to coastal responses.

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    VENUS Science

    The scientific instruments located in the local waters surounding Victoria and Vancouver will provide real-time information on the state of the oceanographic contitions from the sea floor to the waves at the surface. VENUS represents an interdisciplinary integration of Geoscience, Biology, Chemistry and Physics to study coastal ocean processes. Once connected to the VENUS network, each instrument will receive and send data through the Data Management & Archive Centre, accessible via the internet. Scientists will be ale to respond to oceanic events, schedule additional observations, and observe rare and important phenomena, all in real-time. The cartoon below shows some of the the varied oceanic processes occuring within the Juan de Fuca and Georgia Strait basins, and how VENUS will be able to monitor, resolve, and record them.

    Venus Science

    Take the Venus Tour to see a conceptual walk through the Venus system including real time underwater sampling and viewing.

    VENUS will support Canadian industry in marine technology development and provide British Columbians with an intimate view of their marine environment. Information from VENUS will provide information for response to storms, oil spills, waste disposal, tsunamis, interference with marine mammals and long-term climate change effects.

    The three proposed Cable Lines include sections in the Strait of Georgia, Saanich Inlet, and Juan de Fuca Strait. Common and local oceanographic phenomena will be monitored to provide insight into both regional and site specific processes.

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    NEPTUNE

    VENUS is intimately related to the larger NEPTUNE observatory that proposes to extend a fiber optic cable into deep water off the coasts of British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon, on the Juan de Fuca Plate. This significant project will be a collaborative effort headed by Canada NEPTUNE and US NEPTUNE.

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    Project Coordinators

    Verena Tunnicliffe, Principal Investigator
    Richard Dewey, Technical Director

    School of Earth and Ocean Sciences
    Centre for Earth and Ocean Research
    University of Victoria
    PO Box 3055
    Victoria BC Canada V8W 3X3

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