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Seafloor observatory opens portal to the Pacific

," says Tunnicliffe.

"The information we see today on the VENUS website is just the tip of the iceberg," says Benot Pirenne, director of the database team. "Behind the scenes, there is an extensive software and hardware infrastructure designed to collect data from the various instruments and store them for 20 or more years."

VENUS instruments collect several gigabytes of information every 24 hours. In its four-and-a-half months of operation, VENUS has already archived more than 35 million measurements and dozens of gigabytes of acoustic and visual data. That information -- and new real time data -- is now available to the world.

The data management system is constantly evolving. In the near future, "software agents" will work on behalf of VENUS scientists, monitoring incoming data and alerting them by e-mail or cell phone if an unusual event or trend occurs that warrants immediate attention.

Over its 20-year lifespan, VENUS will support studies on topics such as: long-term ocean change; tides, currents and mixing; fish and marine mammal movements; seafloor community ecology; underwater noise pollution; sediment and slope dynamics; and plankton behaviour.


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Contact: Valerie Shore
vshore@uvic.ca
250-721-7641
University of Victoria
22-Jun-2006


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