Researchers with the DFO and Oceans Network Canada will explore the largest underwater volcano in Canada (File submitted/DFO)

Researchers head out from Sidney to explore Canada’s largest underwater volcano

The Explorer Seamount is as large as Greater Vancouver and full of previously undiscovered species

Researchers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and Ocean Networks Canada, as well as partners for the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation will be embarking on a two-week expedition to explore Canada’s largest underwater volcano, the Explorer Seamount.

The team will dive as far as 2000 meters using a submersible camera called the Bathal Ocean Observation and Televideo System, also known as “BOOTS,” which will live-stream the mission as it unfolds.

The Explorer Seamount is located in south west of the Haida Gwaii, and is part of an Area of Interest (AOI) identified in 2017. The massive mount is the size of Greater Vancouver, and approximately the same height as Mt. Baker in Washington State.

ALSO READ: DFO to test for harmful virus at B.C. fish farms

An expedition in 2018 in the area led to the discovery of many new species previously unknown to science.

“Explorer Seamount is like no other that we have visited to far. It is home to a strange reef-like habitat, informally called Spongetopia, a bizarrely large monoculture of sponges extending far beyond the distance the scientists could travel during the 2018 dive,” reads the DFO description of the area. “To add to the mystery, the geological, chemical, and ecological characteristics of the seamount are all varied from what scientists have come to expect on seamounts in the region.”

ALSO READ: DFO announces $1M-plus investment in environmental response equipment for B.C.

The 2019 follow up will continue to explore to learn more about the animals and plants which live in the area, the chemical and biological differences in the water, the impact humans in the area, and new information on regional geography.

Further research will also help ocean conservationists decide if the area can be categorized as an Oceans Act Marine Protected Area.

Researchers will embark on the CCGS John P. Tully to begin the mission on July 16.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

 

Researchers with the DFO and Oceans Network Canada will use a specialized underwater equipment to explore the largest underwater volcano in Canada. Here, a remotely operated vehicle explored Spongetopia in 2018 (File submitted/Oceans Exploration Trust, Northeast Pacific Seamount Expedition Partners)

Just Posted

Victoria’s Other Secret not so secret anymore

How six Mount Doug teachers turned a lunch jam into $11,000 raised for charity

Take your opportunity to sing at the Royal Theatre

Great Canadian Sing debuts Sept. 8 with inspirational music, talented performers, singalong format

PHOTOS: Inside the opening of the expanded Westhills Stadium

The grand opening of the expanded stadium in Langford is on schedule for Aug. 24

Award-nominated Snotty Nose Rez Kids headline Indigifest 2019 coming to Victoria

Scheduled for Aug. 24, the event is a showcase of Indigenous musicians from around B.C.

Cycslists were all smiles during ninth Tour de Victoria

More than 2,100 cyclists participated

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Most Read