Research Sites

The OOI Regional Cabled Array provides a constant stream of near-real time data from the seafloor and through the water column across the Juan de Fuca plate. The network of three instrumented cabled mooring sites (Axial Base, Continental Slope Base, Oregon Shelf, and Oregon Offshore) with complementary sensors on the Cabled Array and shared Endurance Array enable interdisciplinary observations of water-column processes spanning >300 miles offshore of the continental margin and across the shelf. Two other sites within the Cabled Array, Southern Hydrate Ridge and Axial Caldera, host only cabled seafloor instruments.

On July 4, the OOI Cabled Array high definition camera, built by the UW, was reinstalled at the actively venting chimney “Mushroom” in the ASHES hydrothermal field on Axial Seamount. Credit: UW/NSF-OOI/WHOI, V18.

Infrastructure on the Southern Hydrate Ridge provides important insights into an active methane hydrate seep system, including temporal evolution in response to seismic events, chemical fluxes from the seafloor and impacts on overlying ocean chemistry, and biogeochemical coupling associated with gas-hydrate formation and dissolution. Axial Summit is the most advanced underwater volcanic observatory in the world’s oceans. This site is the most magmatically robust volcano on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, having erupted in 1998, April 2011, and again in April 2015. It hosts numerous active hydrothermal fields (e.g., ASHES and the International District) and abundant sites of diffuse flow. A diverse array of geophysical, chemical, and biological sensors, as well as an HD camera and digital still camera provide real-time information on linkages between seismic activity, fluid flow, and benthic biology.