VISIONS '17 operations are focused on maintaining the Cabled Array of the National Science Foundation's Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). Work is scheduled at the cabled observatory's six main study sites: two sites, Axial Base and Axial Caldera, are associated with Axial Seamount, an active underwater volcano ~300 miles west of Astoria, Oregon; one, Slope Base, is at the base of the continental slope, 60 miles west of Newport, Oregon; and one site, Southern Hydrate Ridge, is on the continental shelf at a water depth of ~ 800 m, the site of methane hydrate deposits. Two other cabled sites on the continental shelf (Inshore and Shelf) are associated with the Oregon Endurance Array that includes both cabled and uncabled infrastructure in partnership with Oregon State University.
Operations and instruments installations will utilize the Scripps Institution of Oceanography research vessel R/V Revelle and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's remotely operated vehicle Jason. Major tasks to be completed include deployment of paired deep and shallow profiler moorings at three sites (Slope Base, Endurance Offshore, and Axial Base); turning of numerous junction boxes; and turning of over 100 instruments.