'The BARKLEY CANYON AND SLOPE DYNAMICS working group is composed of the research community interested or engaged in the analysis of ONC Barkley Canyon and slope data streams. This community shares broad interests in the understanding of physical, geological and biological processes within and surrounding Barkley Submarine Canyon. Examples of physical process are internal tide focusing and propagation, vertical mixing and upwelling triggering. Geological processes include sediment transport, slope instability triggering turbidity events and nepheloid layers. Biological processes include the trapping and concentrating zooplankton layers, dynamic of organic matter pulses to the seafloor affecting benthic community structure and ecosystem functioning. The working group helps the user community to plan for multidisciplinary experiments, share and collaborate in new project ideas, discuss potential publications and prepare for the yearly ONC cruise planning season. The working group is also a virtual space for ONC staff scientists to provide updates on issues with instruments and sensors and quality control of data streams.

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 Registered Working Group Users 
Annie Mercier, MUNKim Juniper, ONCNeus Campanya i Llovet, MUN
Akash Sastri, ONCKarina Ramos Musalem, UBCPauline Chauvet, IFREMER
Andrew R Thurber, OSUKristen S Kanes, UVicPere Puig, ICM-CSIC
Craig R Smith, UH ManoaLaurenz Thomsen, JACOBSThomas P Gallagher
Carol Doya, ICM-CSICLisa A Levin, SCRIPPSPaul Snelgrove, MUN
Fabio C De Leo, ONCMarjolaine Matabos, IFREMERRick Thomson, IOS
Gwyn Lintern, NRCANAnna Metaxas, DALSusan Allen, UBC
Jacopo Aguzzi, ICM-CSICMartin Heesemann, ONCRenald Belley, MUN
Jakob Schwendner, DFKIMartin Heesemann, ONCSteve F Mihaly, ONC
Damianos Chatzievangelou, JACOBS  




WG Main ProjectsInitiatedPrincipal InvestigatorsGraduate students (HQP)

Contribution of biodiversity, functional diversity and environmental variables to benthic flux rates, organic matter remineralization and ecosystem functioning in Northeast Pacific soft-sedimentary habitats.

May 2011Paul SnelgroveRenald Belley

Pulse-chase sediment enrichment experiment (POD3)
Organic matter sources to Barkley canyon
Benthic food-web studies using stable isotope and fatty-acid biomarkers

May 2013Paul Snelgrove, Kim JuniperNeus Campanya
INDEEP colonization-connectivity experimentMay 2013Anna Metaxas, Eva Ramirez-LlodraPauline Chauvet
Activity Rhythms of benthic megafauna2012Jacopo Aguzzi, Marjolaine MatabosCarol Doya, Damianos Chatzievangelou
Benthic megafauna biodiversity and dynamics2011Marjolaine Matabos, Kim Juniper, Anna MetaxasPauline Chauvet
Canyon habitat mapping2013Anna Metaxas, Marjolaine MatabosLia Domke
Whale bones, wood and carbonateMay 2014Craig R. Smith, Lisa Levin, Fabio De LeoAharon Fleury
Overwintering copepods at PODs 1,3May 2015Fabio De Leo, Akash Sastri, Martin Schewath, Martin HeesmannBruno Ogata
INDEEP Global Freezer SurveysSept 2015Andrew Thurber, INDEEP working group on Ecosystem Function 
Whale fall experiment (in proposal stage)Sept 2015Craig R. Smith, Fabio De Leo, Laurenz Thomsen, Tina Treude, Jacopo Aguzzi 
Sediment dynamics, turbidity events and nepheloid layersMay 2016Pere Puig, Albert Palanques 



Publications by the Working Group

Chatzievangelou, D., Doya, C., Thomsen, L., Purser, A., Aguzzi, J., 2016. High-Frequency Patterns in the Abundance of Benthic Species near a Cold-Seep – An Internet Operated Vehicle Application. PlosONE: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163808 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0163808

Belley, R., Snelgrove, P.V.R., Archambault, P., Juniper, S.K., 2016. Environmental Drivers of Benthic Flux Variation and Ecosystem Functioning in Salish Sea and Northeast Pacific Sediments. Plos ONE: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151110 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0151110

Doya, C, Aguzzi, J, Pardo, M, Matabos, M, Company, JB, Costa, C, Mihaly, S, Canals, M, 2014. Diel behavioral rhythms in sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) and other benthic species, as recorded by the Deep-sea cabled observatories in Barkley canyon (NEPTUNE-Canada).  Journal of Marine Systems, 130: 69-78.

Matabos, M, Bui, AOV, Mihály, S, Aguzzi, J, Juniper, SK, Ajayamohan, RS, 2014. High-frequency study of epibenthic megafaunal community dynamics in Barkley Canyon: A multi-disciplinary approach using the NEPTUNE Canada network.  Journal of Marine Systems, 130: 56-68.

Juniper, SK, Matabos, M, Mihály, S, Ajayamohan, RS, Gervais, F, Bui, AOV, 2013. A year in Barkley Canyon: A time-series observatory study of mid-slope benthos and habitat dynamics using the NEPTUNE Canada network.  Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 92: 114-123.

Purser, A, Thomsen, L, Barnes, C, Best, M, Chapman, R, Hofbauer, M, Menzel, M, Wagner, H, 2013. Temporal and spatial benthic data collection via an internet operated Deep Sea Crawler.  Methods in Oceanography, 5: 1-18.

Thomsen, L, Barnes, C, Best, M, Chapman, R, Pirenne, B, Thomson, R, Vogt, J, 2012. Ocean circulation promotes methane release from gas hydrate outcrops at the NEPTUNE Canada Barkley Canyon node.  Geophysical Research Letters, 39 (16): L16605, DOI: 10.1029/2012GL052462.

ONC Staff Scientists managing this group:
(contact one of us if you wish to become part of this working group) 

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Document repository (shared documents - accessible only by participants):

  File Modified
PNG File bc_wg_banner image.png 16-Apr-15 by Fabio Cabrera
PDF File Whale fall project in Barkley Canyon.pdf 22-May-15 by Fabio Cabrera
PDF File Smith and De Leo Barkley Canyon bone wood proposal.pdf 22-May-15 by Fabio Cabrera
JPEG File POD1_November_2014_4.jpeg 11-Jun-16 by Fabio Cabrera
JPEG File POD1_November_2014.jpeg 11-Jun-16 by Fabio Cabrera
JPEG File POD1_November_2014_3.jpeg 11-Jun-16 by Fabio Cabrera
JPEG File POD1_November_2014_2.jpeg 11-Jun-16 by Fabio Cabrera
JPEG File POD2_Nov_2014_2.jpeg 11-Jun-16 by Fabio Cabrera
JPEG File POD2_Nov_2014_3.jpeg 11-Jun-16 by Fabio Cabrera
JPEG File POD2_Nov_2014.jpeg 11-Jun-16 by Fabio Cabrera
PNG File image2016-11-7 12:20:40.png 07-Nov-16 by Fabio Cabrera








  1. April 16, 2015 - First day of implementing/testing the ONC working group web-pages

  2. Barkley Node will be repaired on May 8th, 2015, with the CS Wave Venture ship

  3. Dear Barkley Canyon Working group members,

    here is the official announcement for the 2016 INCISE International Submarine Canyon Symposium to be co-hosted by ONC here in Victoria. Hopefully you will be able to attend!




    "Dear submarine canyon enthusiasts,

    it is our pleasure to announce the 3rd INCISE International Submarine Canyon Symposium to take place in Victoria, British Columbia, from 25 to 27 July 2016. The symposium website url is below and contains basic information about the venue, travel and accommodation options. Ocean Networks Canada, an initiative of University of Victoria that operates the NE Pacific regional (NEPTUNE) cabled observatory is co-hosting the event with the INCISE network.


    The symposium scientific committee is currently working on the scientific program and defining the keynote speakers. Registration and abstract submission will be open early in 2016.

    Please forward this announcement to any colleagues that may not have been in close contact with the INCISE community, and mark your calendars! We are looking forward to see you in Victoria during the beautiful summer of British Columbia, and to learn and share new insights and state-of-the-art research and knowledge about submarine canyons.

    Best regards,

    Fabio De Leo

    Veerle Huvenne,

    Jaime Davies

    Pere Puig

    & the local organizing committee.

    p.s – any inquires about the symposium please contact submarinecanyons.network@gmail.com or fdeleo@uvic.ca"


  4. Dear Barkley Canyon Working Group Members,

    I call your attention for the second circular announcing that registration and abstract submission is now open for the 3rd INCISE International Submarine Canyon Symposium, to be held here in Victoria, 25-27 of July this year. I encourage those who are working with ONC data from Barkley Canyon to submit abstracts. We will tentatively have a dedicated session for Barkely Canyon.

    More info in our website: http://incise2016.oceannetworks.ca/

    Best regards to all,


    "Dear INCISE community and submarine canyons enthusiasts,
    we are very glad to announce that the registration and abstract submission is now open for the 3rd INCISE International Submarine Canyon Symposium through our website: http://incise2016.oceannetworks.ca
    Abstract submission period ends on March 31st and early bird registration fees apply until May 25th.
    For the first time the INCISE symposium is offering a limited number of travel grants in the amount of CAD $1,000 for graduate students and post-docs. You will find more details and instructions in the abstract submission page.
    If you have any questions or inquires about either the registration or abstract submission process, please contact Fabio De Leo at fdeleo@uvic.ca
    The full symposium program should be available soon after we close the abstract submission process. Please try to secure travel and accommodation at your earliest convenience since Victoria is a busy city during summer months.
    We are very much looking forward to see you during the 3rd INCISE Submarine Canyon Symposium in Victoria. We recommend you plan ahead your participation so you can also enjoy the astonishing landscapes and wildlife of Vancouver Island, and the charm of the city of Victoria during summer.
    Our sincere regards,
    the 2016 INCISE organizing committee:
    Fabio De Leo
    Veerle Huvenne
    Jaime Davies
    Pere Puig"
  5. Dear Barkley Canyon research community (benthic ecologists),

    as you should be aware, the Barkley node and extension cables were fixed a few weeks back with joint efforts of E/V Nautilus/ROV Hercules and the cable ship Wave Venture. While power and communications are back, most of our instrument platforms are going back in the water only next week, in operations aboard the R/V Sikuliaq and using the ROV Jason.

    This message concerns the deployments of seafloor cameras at POD2 (slope), POD1 (canyon axis) and POD4 (canyon flank). There are two slight modifications to the cameras that I want to call your attention to and get your feed back if you think it may affect your research:

    1) removal of scaling PVC poles. The poles are acting as ‘artificial substrate’ attractors to both sessile and mobile fauna, disturbing the natural conditions of the background benthic community. The effect is clear in both sites, POD2 in the slope and POD1 in the canyon axis (pics attached). In POD3/POD4 we got rid of the poles in 2014 because of the colonization experiment packages (whalebones/wood/carbonate). Without the poles we can still get the scaling in the second plane axis by knowing the height of the camera (and of the lasers) above the seabed and the tilt angle of the camera (data we store reliably in our data base). Simple trigonometry. With camera aperture angles and also height above seafloor we can also construct perspective grids. Therefore, I suggest we remove those poles from the field of view of the camera avoiding this artifact in faunal abundance counts.

    2) Rising the camera from 70 to 85 cm above the seabed. This is an option that will enhance the spectrum of possible field of views. The camera currently sits really low in the tripod after accounting for a long mounting bracket (~ 35 cm) plus the Pan and Tilt device (another ~40 cm). See attached images as well. And if we consider that we may still loose 3-5 cm as the tripod sinks into the muddy sediment of Barkley, the camera height above seabed maybe reduced even to to 65-67 cm. The tripod leg mountings offer the possibility of bringing it one level up, adding this 15 cm of clearance between the camera and the seafloor. Taking close-up footage will still be possible, just by tilting the camera downwards a bit. You may think this may represent an issue in the continuity of the time-series but considering the scaling aspect that I just mentioned above, we would be abe to extract comparable faunal densities with previous years of the time-series.

    Please provide your feedback on those points at your earliest convenience, as the Skuliaq departs this Sunday with scheduled Barkley servicing early next week.

    Best regards,


  6. 'Artificial substrate' attraction effect of the scaling poles on the benthic fauna (Images from PODs 1 and 2). Related to the previous message.