Nanaimo Historical Society Fonds : Series 2 Sound Recordings
Tape 32a, (March 17, 1970)
Transcribed by: Nancy Lee Deslauriers, April 9, 2008
Address was presented by Dr. John P. Tully before the Nanaimo Historical Society in the Centennial Museum Tuesday March 17th, 1970. The subject of his address was entitled History of Oceanography of the Pacific Coast. The occasional clinking noises were caused by the metal atlas being moved along the table by Dr. Tully, he being so absorbed in his delineations of positions on the globe and the mike picking up every sound. President Mr. John G. Parker introduced Dr. Tully to the gathering and Miss E. Blanche Norcross proposed the vote of thanks.
President Parker: Ladies and Gentlemen, I reserve for myself the pleasure of introducing our speaker tonight and I'm not going to tell you about his achievements..ah..in his own field because I'm sure that his talk will reveal that but I did want to say something about his work in the community because..ah.. it seems to me that people who contribute to the progress of the community, their work is very often forgotten, quickly forgotten. But our speaker did serve on the school board for a number of years..ah..maybe he would like to be there at the present time, amidst all this turmoil, but I think more important to me, I did work with him..ah..on the Recreation Commission was originally formed and that's a few years ago now. And I was going to say that, at that time, we prepared a constitution which was recognized across Canada and in parts of the United States as being a model for recreation commissions and I remember the many hours we put in working on that. So it's with a great deal of pleasure, personal pleasure that I introduce Dr. Tully.
Dr. Tully: Thank you, Sharon and Judge Parker, and my friends. If you'd like to sit down, no I think we'll do this standing up because this way I have more room you see. Now ah, I feel like the old man of the sea you know being brought forth..ah..to do something at a time like this. In that sense, oceanography is the study of the sea and all it's aspects. This is analogous to the total meaning of geography, meteorology and so on. And with the latter, the meaning has been eroded by the separation of special topics. For example, hydrograph is the location of the shore involved. Marine Biology is the study of life in the sea. Marine Meteorology is concerned with the effects of the sea on the atmosphere. Oceanology is used interchangeably with Oceanography in Europe and Asia but here in America ah it has to do with the gadgetry, the instruments and so on that is necessary for work on the sea. Thus, oceanography, as we know, it is the study of the liquid ocean itself. It's chemical and physical properties, it's movements, and it's interactions with the solid earth and the atmosphere. And the purpose of oceanography is to determine how and to what extent mankind may utilize the ocean. Of course, the first stage of any such effort is exploration. The second stage is the adaptation of man's behaviour to the environment. These are the principle topics of my discussion tonight. The third stage is the adaptation of the environment to man's requirements. Scientifically, we're entering this stage now and perhaps later we can touch on some of the things to come. It seems to me that my presentation would be most acceptable or more acceptable if I tell you about our adventures or as episodes rather than adhering to a recitation of events by date, all gets to be like the kings of England, if you know what I mean. Each episode has a purpose, a beginning, a period of struggle and a conclusion. Each episode is a story in itself. I feel somewhat like the author of the T.V. series a few years ago called "Big Town". There are many stories to tell and perhaps tonight we will tell a few of them.
I think that to most of us, the points of interest are, why did we do it? When and how did we do it? What did we learn and what use is it? Now because I happen to have too much paper tonight I'm going to skip over the history of Oceanography elsewhere in the world and we can discuss that if we want too.
I'd like to discuss first a thing we call the icy water observation. In 1912, because of the scientific interest, daily observations of seawater temperature were initiated at Departure Bay at the newly formed Biological Station. These are the earliest oceanographic records in the North Pacific Ocean. Anywhere in the North Pacific. They show that the coldest situation occurred in 1917. No doubt that was the winter when, as many old timers tell us, the Nanaimo harbour froze over and horses and teams crossed Newcastle Channel.
Since then, there has been a general warming until about 1958. Usually, we have alternate warm and cool years, relatively, for example we have a moderate summer followed by a very cold winter or vice versa. And very seldom we have a cold winter followed by a very warm summer. This I think, or we have a very warm summer followed by a very mild winter. Actually the extremes don't occur rather it's the moderate situation and then the extreme.
In 1918, by courtesy of the Fisheries Department, or Fisheries Service, water temperature observations were commenced in the Fraser River. In 1932, the daily sea water observations were glorified to include salinity which is a converse of how much fresh water is, you know if you know how much salt there is you can take the salt away and know how much fresh water there is. At the same time, a network of observing points were initiated at light stations along the whole Pacific coast of Canada, on the ocean coast and the inland water ways on the Strait of Georgia and the Queen Charlotte Islands. These records are the most complete anywhere in the Pacific Ocean and have revealed the changes of water temperature and salinity seasonally, annually and from year to year. They define the submarine climate in the coastal waters and in variations. In this sense they are analogous to meteorological observations and serve much the same purpose for the people who are concerned with the sea. For example, these data have revealed the nature and extent of the seaward influence of our great rivers, the Nass, the Skeena and the Fraser. It requires 36 days for the Fraser River [inaudible] to reach Race Rocks off Victoria. Evidently this is time required to flush the surface waters of pollution from the strait. Also the data provides the basis for the loading of ships in all of our ports, Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Harmac, Nanaimo and so on. And so this loading depends on the ratio of water density at the point of loading to the density that will be encounter on the high seas. Further more, these observations provide the basis for the design of thermal electric plants such as at Royston and Port Mann and it's been shown that salmon migrating from the ocean to the Fraser River may approach by the southern route through Juan de Fuca Strait in normal and cold years. Under those conditions we have to share them with the Americans. In warm years such as 1958 most of the salmon approached by the way of the North West Passage where we Canadians had them all to ourselves. Also in warmer than normal years, tuna rather than salmon are found off our west coast. In these ways, the daily seawater observations are significant to our way of life. Now in keeping with the tenor of our times, I'd like to tell you the story of pollution research. Believe it or not, the old folks did do something about it. In 1938, Prentice Bloedel dreamed of a pulp mill in Port Alberni. He and the architect Howard Symon approached Dr. Clement, who was a director of the Biological Station at the time, for advice regarding waste disposal so that it would not harm the fishery. Henry and Myrtle Palmers in their ship the Myrtle Beatty took a small party of oceanographers to Alberni Inlet during November of that year. The purpose was to measure the water properties and currents in an attempt to determine how fast the pulp mill effluent would be carried to the ocean and diluted. The first attempt was not adequate. The oceanographers returned next year spending the whole summer in the inlet. When they returned in the autumn, they built a small hydraulic model of the situation from fresh and seawater, tides and rivers currents. From all this, they determined how an estuary and an inlet works. Now, fresh water from land drainage enters the sea at the surface. [Dr. Tully asks for a piece of chalk.] Let us draw a picture of the inlet here and ah, let's say this is the water line and the river back here coming in.
[We hear chalk on a black board]
Now the fresh water enters at the surface and it spreads out over the surface and it forms a brackish layer. [Sound of chalk on board as he draws on the black board] And this seaward moving fresh water picks up salt water from below called entrainment. Now the net effect of this is, this is the ocean up here, that we have a seaward movement overriding the tides in the surface water and a compensating movement occurring in the seawater down below. And the conclusion of the research was that pulp mill affluent which acts like fresh water should be dumped in at the surface so that it would migrate to sea in the quickest possible way. Now this flushing mechanism, which it has since become called, this is how a technical term would develop here amongst our people. From this research, the rate of flow of the allowable limits of the Mill were forecast in terms of flow of the Somass River. Ways and means of increasing the flushing so as to forward the expansion of the mill devised. All this was implemented in the new build in 1945 and the subsequent expansion. Now the philosophy of the time was that sea waste had a limited tolerance for assimilating waste and so long as this limit was not exceeded free disposal was permitted. Since the Alberni episode the principal has been applied to nearly all new pulp mill construction along the British Columbia coast. In general, this sewage disposal is tolerable. However as production increases and new processes are added limits of tolerance are being pressed, and at times exceeded, so additional efforts are required. However, the basic philosophy of the Oceanographer is to find ways and means of making industry compatible with the environment and so insure the continuance of prosperity and so on.
Now, the next episode in our story occurred in 1950 when the Vancouver District Joint Sewage and Drainage Boards sought the advice of the Nanaimo Oceanographers to find a suitable outfall for the sewage from the city and it's adjacent communities such that the sewage would not be carried back to the bathing beaches in English Bay. It's a nice problem. The Oceanographers set up a branch shop at the University of British Columbia and during the year they studied the properties of the movements of the water on the approach to Vancouver, from Point Roberts, that's Tsawwassen, to Howe Sound and this was done in great detail. They used ships, they measured currents, they followed drifting pieces of wood and finally took aerial photographs of the muddy Fraser River plume from about 10,000 feet, doing this every two hours through several weeks. The conclusion was to put the sewage outfall on Iona Island on the north arm of the Fraser River, undoubtedly, ah, here we are, ah Fraser River coming in here well perhaps you, I hope you know what the geography is, ah, Point Gray lies here, the north arm of the Fraser River, the main channel of the Fraser River comes in here. All this is Robert's Bank, the north arm, Fraser water, comes out and circles around Point Gray to Kitsilano Beach, this is English Bay in here [drawing on board] and of course this is where all the bathing is. Now the trick was using Iona Island which is about there [clearly pointing to his drawing] to put the sewage outfall out a little bit such the sewage then would go around the outside having this current or this fresh water from the north arm of the river acting as a buffer between the sewage and the shore. That's what it is. This method has been adequate until the past few years. Now I'm given to understand that the sewage will have to be treated ah, as it is being discharged largely because the limits of the system are being pushed.
Another episode. In 1952, Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation refused to loan money for housing in areas where sewage facilities were not adequate. Nanaimo was caught. Only the city itself had sewers and these emptied in the harbour in Brechin Channel making them unfit for recreation. This meant that they knew what to do but did not have the facilities or the resources. Our citizens undertook the greatest cooperative venture that our district has ever known. The yacht club provided desks, the ladies provided food, the ham radio operators provided communications. The city provided material and gasoline. The University of British Columbia, the Navy and the Biological Station contributed personnel and ships, instruments and instruction. During two weekends, Saturday and Sunday, more than 400 people worked from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. They followed drifting floats and charted their progress as the tides rose and fell, ebbed and flowed, and the winds changed from North West to South East. The Oceanographers annualized [analyzed?] the data and concluded that the sewage should be collected and piped to an outfall on the outside of Newcastle Island. This would clear the harbour and Departure Bay for recreation. The study cost the city less than five hundred dollars. Needless to say the [?] bylaw based on this community effort was passed without dissension and so our area has the necessary sewage. In the past few years, our district has grown. Newcastle Island is a park area. Evidently, our earlier accomplishments need to be extended. I'm given to understand that the Sewage Board has conducted the necessary survey and has adequately planned to cope with the situation over a period of the next fifty years.
In 1964, the Victoria District applied for similar help. That time, it was possible to recruit the resources of three Federal and six Provincial agencies so the citizen help was not needed. The Victoria Project is primarily interesting because we laid strips of paper on the water and followed their drift by photographing them every hour. This is a nice trick.
I turn now to the inland waterways and, of course, historically we should start with the Strait of Georgia. Where it is, oh, here it is. The united waterways of British Columbia from Juan de Fuca Strait northward through the Strait of Georgia, the passages, Queen Charlotte Sound, Hecate Strait up to Dickson Entrance. Our particular concern because it contained great populations of food fishes probably, more than any single area in the world. An obvious question is why. And the answer must be related to the properties of the behaviour of the water. That is the answer lies in the oceanography of the situation. Naturally the first place to start was close to home in the Strait of Georgia. In 1925, Dr. A.T. Cameron measured the amount of iodine in seaweeds near Nanaimo. This is of historical interest only because we don't get iodine that way any more. In 1927 the Biological Station acquired a magnificent vessel the A.P. Knight named after the first chairman of the Biological Board. The ship was 59 feet 11 inches long. One inch short of the requirement for steam ship inspection. It had a hot surface stationary diesel engine taken out of an old power plant--1904 vintage--and is started up by lighting blow torches on the top. It had a coal furnace, as gasoline engine for generating electricity, and a gas stove. It lasted thirty years before it blew up and burned. In this vessel Dr. A.T. Hutcheson, Professor of Botany, at the University of British Columbia with several students who have since become famous, conducted an oceanographic investigation to learn why the Strait of Georgia was so productive. He was primarily interested in plant plankton, little floating microscopic life in the sea which lives on sunlight, phosphate and nitrates in the water and is the basic food on which all other marine life depends. He learned that each year the Fraser [?] creates a brackish surface layer - we'll be coming back to that - which circulates with the tide and eventually is flushed to sea through the Southern and Northern passages. Also he learned that the phosphate content of the water was greater that any recorded elsewhere in the world. He concluded correctly that the phosphate came from the Pacific Ocean and not from sewage. Actually there is more than twice as much phosphate in North Pacific waters then in the pollution-ridden Lake Erie's in Ontario. And more than twice as much as there is in the Atlantic. In consequence, these waters produce more plant plankton than any other. The reason we do not have pollution type accumulation of algae here is that there is enough zeo-plankton in Nanaimo to eat it. And, in turn. there are enough fish to keep the zeo-plankton under control by grazing. This super abundance of food and temperatures accounts for the extreme productivity of our waters. The study of productivity lapsed from 1931 to 1958 when it was revived with elaborate modern technology by Dr. Strickland and Dr. Parsons. The later has extended his study across the ocean to Japan proving what Dr. Hutcheson had forecasted.
Since Hutcheson, there have been several major studies in the Strait of Georgia. Early workers describe the tidal and seasonal variation of properties including the effect of [?] heating and cooling and the behaviour of sea water intrusions into a river. [Walter Check ?], whom you all know, 1950 to '54 described the total circulation of flushing proving that the Straits behaved as an estuary and the mechanics of the exchange with the ocean. Recently [Tobada?] and his associates have described the details of tidal circulation and the relation between surface and deep currents. Amongst all these scientist have shown that the acoustic properties of the water and compared them to other oceans and seas. An interesting outcome of these studies is Canadian, US, United States torpedo range at Nanoose which brilliantly shows the effect of tropic to arctic waters on underwater sound and weapons performance. It is probable that the Strait of Georgia is the best know of all Canadian inland seas. And perhaps best known of any such water body in the world. Similar studies to a lesser degree were carried out in Dixon Entrance ah, 1937 to 38 and the approaches to Prince Rupert in 1948, Juan de Fuca Strait in 1952, 54, Uh, Queen Charlotte Sound and Hecate Strait 1954 to 56. The last study culminated in a hydraulic model, the largest ever made of a natural seaway which revealed the tidal circulation of those waters in a manner which could not have been accomplished by any other means. I think most of you have seen that model when it was in existence at the station. Along with these researchers was a study of the coastal inlets, which are peculiar features of the coast of Canada. All these inlets up the coast here. Uh, They are peculiar to the coast of Canada, Norway and Chili. The first studies were made in Norway and they were seconded by Dr. Neil Carter at Nanaimo in 1930 to 31. Such inlets are the sites of cities and industries, which must dispose of waste to sea. Essentially the inlets have a surface seaward moving layer with a deeper inward moving layer and the characteristic of many of our inlets have a lip at the seaward end and the water at the bottom here is stagnant (sound of chalk on board as he draws a diagram) and in many of these it is thousands of years old. After 1952, the Institute of Oceanography at the University of British Columbia took, assumed the responsibility for the studies of inlets along the coasts. Proceeding in the pattern of the Alberni study, flushing characteristics have been defined so that the effect of new industries can be forecasted from data that are now on record. Now of course a presentation such as this one must considered the North Pacific Ocean. I think at this time we bring out our globe. I always like to put the world on display (laughs). The Spaniards and the Russians were the first known navigators of the sub arctic Pacific. Neither of them liked it. The oceanic areas in this sub arctic Pacific are cloud covered most of the time. It's only along the shores such as along Vancouver Island and Queen Charlottes that there is an appreciable amount of sunshine. The gray ocean surfaced with phosphorous, phosphates and nitrates, is the richest oceanic feeding area in the world. The Pacific Ocean is, in fact, a bay off the southern ocean. (Clatter of metal) You can see it right there (appears to be pointing to the globe) of course if goes more that half way around the world. I mean it's a fair sized bay. (Laughter from the audience) but never the less it's still a bay! (Laughter from audience). And of course it leads into the southern ocean where the tide is generated. See the tides are generated down here but we'll talk about that later. Anyway in the north, no this is where my question is can I do this thing properly, Ah, in the north we have the ah, Oyashio which is called the black current which comes down along the coast of Kamchatka to Japan, then moves, turns and goes across the ocean. The same time we have the warm water from the tropics coming up and forming the Kuroshio. Oyashio means mother of black waters and Kurishio means mother of waters. While these two currents paddle along side-by-side mixing a bit as they go across the ocean until they get awfully close to Vancouver Island and as happens to so many people when they reach our lovely climate they can't make up their mind. Well parts of them turn around the Gulf of Alaska, come back up through the Bering Sea and back to Kamchatka and so on down again. The other part forms the California Current which goes down here off California, comes back around Hawaii, and across the ocean completing the circulation like that (clearly pointing at globe or map he has drawn). It's all very simple, it's just like to big cogwheels rolling and the mesh is along in our latitudes here. So much for the background. In 1933 because of the interest aroused by the Pacific Science Congress which was held in
Vancouver that year, Mr. [Parisall?] the regional hydrographer invited an oceanographer, to join the survey ship the William J. Stewart which was surveying the waters along the west coast of Vancouver Island. [ ?] this was the first time we'd been able to go to sea. Well despite the magnificent ship the A.P. Knight it wasn't quite the thing to start out on the high seas with. So, however the William [?] came to the rescue. During two years the properties of the waters were observed out to 30 miles from shore. That was almost out of sight of land! In 1935 the operation shifted to the ocean cost of the Queen Charlotte Islands and there we had the opportunity to see the old Haida villages still in their original state before the totem poles were removed. Pardon me that's not oceanography, that's just [?]. In 1936 the oceanography was transfer to a navy ship, HMCS [Armentear ?spelling?] which would do lifeguard duty at Bamfield. (Coughing in audience) In the navy tradition the scientists, that is the oceanographers were guests of the captain, Lieutenant Commander H.W.S. [Soulesby ? Spelling?]. Attention was focused on the treacherous currents and the approaches to Juan De Fuca Strait. We're out here now, (obviously pointing to the map or globe), and southern Vancouver Island which has caused many ships to be set ashore and wrecked. So this area was known as the graveyard of the Pacific. Results of four years work in the area are now included in the sailing directions as an aid to mariners in this treacherous ocean approach. I think we lost a ship in last year. Ever since then, ever since this 1936 episode, the Royal Canadian Navy has provided two ships for oceanographic research and survey in the Pacific. Hence we've provided the oceanographers. The combined resources have been directed to problems of national concern, fisheries, navigation, pollution and military. Canadian Oceanography particularly in the Pacific became outstanding in the world scientifically and practically.
In 1955, the oceanographers of Japan, United States and Canada agreed amongst themselves to pool their resources to conduct a survey of the whole North Pacific Ocean from the latitude of Hawaii, down here, (Obviously pointing to the globe or a map) right up to the top to the Aleutian Islands on the top of the gulf of Alaska. Canada's share of this Nor-Pac adventure as it was called ah, was the Gulf of Alaska piece, this piece right here, (Obviously pointing to the globe or map) latitude of Washington State, Gulf of Alaska and out here to about mid ocean. Not quite to the date line. The Americans took the sub tropics to the south of us, of course they've got a bigger piece of ocean because the world's fatter there, so is the ocean, and the Japanese were to the west of us. The survey was conducted in the summer of 1956. In March 1957 we all met in Hawaii, which was about six months later, and exchanged our records and put the picture together. This was the first time in history that a whole ocean area had been surveyed at one time. Despite the fact that people had been walking around the Atlantic, and please note, the Atlantic you see is, the Atlantic is really a canal between the southern ocean and the Arctic Ocean. You know I mean it's only so big. I mean you can step across it. (Laughter). And uh, but the problem with the Atlantic is that there are too many people, too many countries, and of course trying to get a lot of people to agree is a bit difficult. Where as in the Pacific there is only four of us living in the North Pacific and we get along quite well. (Laughs) Also it was a new record for the analysis of data. In those days, the tedious calculations were done by hand with slide rule, graphs and desk calculators. We now know the results of the survey recorded more than a year of calculations to reveal conclusions. The Nor-Pac adventure was completed in six months by hand. The facts that came from that are these charts of the Pacific circulation and [inaudible]
In 1956, at the same time as the Nor-Pac survey a covenant was reached with Japan, United States and Canada to refrain from fishing salmon on the high seas and conduct research to determine their ocean going behaviour. The salmon's behaviour that is. The balance of oceanographers of all three countries went to sea, summer and winter. Part of Canada's contribution was oceanography in our chosen area in our corner of the ocean up here. From this we learned that the sub arctic Pacific Ocean northward of a trans ocean boundary, no, I had my notes in pencil here. There it is. Now a trans ocean boundary which is right about there, Northward of that boundary the ah, which is in the latitude of Juan de Fuca strait, the ocean there was a two layer system. It has a layer of relatively brackish water about 300 feet deep, and I come back to my picture now, of the ocean this is 300 feet deep, (drawing on a blackboard) and below that, and of course in the ocean, we have to get rid of all this nonsense, take the bottom off here, that makes it all very nice, and this layer of brackish water is floating on saline or more saline water. Further the ah, water flows out of this area through the California current, that California current coming down here now. Underneath in the deep water there is a net inflow into the area, which rises up, this net inflow rises up to a dome like this (drawing on blackboard) and that dome is here in the Gulf of Alaska and along the Aleutian Island chain. Evidently, this is an estuary. The reason is simple. In the sub arctic region there is an excess of fresh water from precipitation land drainage which of course creates a [inaudible]. Simple. Now to see if it works in a bathtub as well as the ocean. Southward in the sub tropics there is excess evaporation, which removes the fresh water from the system. And of course the weather systems pick up the water there bring it back to the sub arctic and away you go. Very neat! There we learned that the Pacific salmon occur only in those seas where there is a two layer oceanographic system from the rivers of Canada, Alaska, Chimchatka, we move into the super rich waters of the sub arctic Pacific where the stocks mingle, all the fish grow rapidly like the buffalo on the prairies they move northward in the summer and southward in the winter but they never cross the sub arctic boundary. South of that is Tuna country. In the sub arctic salmon are supreme.
Now, I can't leave this topic with out some mention of the weather. By international convention, just after World War II, when the trans ocean aviation was being established the major countries of the world undertook to provide search and rescue ships at strategic points along the main flying routes. That was their primary purpose. In addition, these ships contain the principle oceanic water observations observed. Previously, the weathermen had depended on the courtesy and good will of transiting ships to observe and radio weather reports. The weather ships as they became known provided the first fixed marine observing platforms. In 1948, Canada undertook the total responsibility for ocean station P. Latitude 50 north and 145 west which puts it right there. (Obviously pointing to map or globe). 800 miles west of Vancouver Island. There were two ships operated by the Department of Transport. They were wartime frigates, [Stonetown?] and St. Catherine's. Each ship remained within a ten-mile square for ten weeks. It required three days to sail to the position and three days to return. So each ship was at sea for seven weeks and home for five weeks. Which was little enough time for repair of sea damage of the ship and the people. These brave old ships where replaced by the specially designed Vancouver and Quadra in 1967. Ocean Station P or Papa is about 300 miles north of the sub arctic boundary, in the west wind drift. It is a few hundred miles west of the point where the great division occurs. Obviously this is a position of oceanographic monitoring. Observations where commenced from one of the ships the [Stonetown?] in 1952. Observations of temperature was make four times daily while the ship was on station and while it was on route to and from station. These provided continuous records to alternate six week periods on the station and a line of observations through the division of the currents in this region here, (obviously pointing to a map or globe), every six weeks. Well this was very good so in 1955 shipboard laboratory and equipment were provided and scientific oceanographers were added to the complement. The observations were elaborated to include productivity and [terms?]. The monitoring of radioactivity in the sea etc. and quite a number of other things. These observations are continuing and constitute the larger series, longer series of high seas oceanographic monitoring in the world. After 1965 the system developed here was adopted by the Americans, British, Japanese, Dutch and Germans. It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
From the observations, more than 150 scientific papers have been produced to include the assessment of the seasonal cycles and variations of heat and cold. The flow of the western drift, and the California current. The productivity of oceanographic plankton, and fish. And coupled with the weather, the data helped to assess the growth and decay of storms moving towards the coast. Also from these data it was possible to determine the mechanism of summer heating and winter cooling in the ocean to at least 400 feet depth. This provided the basic know how for forecasting ocean temperatures which had been applied on a worldwide by the Americans and the British.
In all this, it is notable that each project was undertaken for the purpose of economic significance, often is was necessary to solve some fundamental scientific problems in order to answer the practical ones. Thus, Canadian oceanography particularly on the Pacific coast has been a most productive combination of pure and applied science. Now there are other stories, these include the arctic where in the late '40s we were the furthest north in wooden ships since Cook went up there were we found a passage for the first under ice [inaudible] channel I should say, for the first under ice passage of the submarine [Melrose ?] and made an appearance in the Bering strait. Since then we have learned how to work through the ice and under the ice.
This story is a classic. Again there is another story a wartime story of underwater sound and the detection of [inaudible]. That's a bit of an epic in itself involving the Nanaimo Oceanography, the U.S. and Canadian Navy in cooperation research, which continues even now.
Now ladies and gentlemen I think that is enough for one night, and I thank you for your attention and [inaudible].
Ms. Norcross: Dr. Tully, you given us so much to think about tonight I thought that possibly I should call for some questions but I think that there will be so many that we shouldn't start. But I've been impressed, thinking as you're talking that ah, it must have been wonderful to make your living at working at such a fascinating job. But I suppose that it did have its dull or routine side at times.
Dr. Tully: Never my dear. Routine perhaps but never dull.
Ms. Norcross: No, you make it sound as if there was never a dull moment and we haven't had a dull moment this evening listening to you. And so on behalf of everyone here present I would like to thank you very much indeed for coming tonight for this very interesting talk you've given.
President Parker: Ah Dr. Tully this might not be in the right order but I was so entranced with your talk that I forgot to ask if there were any questions. I think that questions would be in order now if anyone has a question. I will start with one. I was rather interested in your short comment about very old water being trapped down there. Does that have any particular qualities or does it have any historical value?
Dr. Tully: Well uh, the ah the pulp mill across the strait at Powell River is built on the site of a fjord which originally had a shore line that came down and came up to a lip that was oh about 10 feet deep. Now when the Powel River Company was built they put a dam in here. Remember this was salt water surface to begin with. Powell Lake was originally an inlet just like any of the others. So they built the dam and of course this thing filled up to about here. That of course was many, many years ago. Now, down in the bottom of this we find salt water. Still there. Now people have been doing some carbon dating on this. You've heard of carbon dating. You know carbon that is exposed to, it becomes radioactive, and this takes a certain while to decay after it's removed from the sunshine and everything. And the estimated age of this salt water by carbon dating is 10 thousand years. Lets just give this one example. That stuff is just been sitting there.
Audience member: Can life live in it?
Dr. Tully: No, it's stagnant, stagnant and all the oxygen is gone and as a matter of fact there is enough hydrogen sulphide ah, in there to make it a very good mouth wash.
Audience member: Dr. Tully, does that brackish continue flowing out to the sea, irrespective of where the tide coming in or out?
Dr. Tully: The situation here, ah, the tides come in and the tides go out. Now let us superimpose a river flow on the top of that. So this means that at the surface the tide comes in against the stream, right? Now when it goes out is goes out a little bit further than it came in. So that it's a little dense.
Many people talking.
Audience member: It's taking in all the time as it goes out. And coming it, it's taking in the saline there.
Dr. Tully: That's right.
Audience Member: Why isn't it taking out pollution?
Dr. Tully: That's the key to the whole situation. This is what broke the problem. Uh, the pollution, it takes a certain length of time. Now from the Fraser River mouth to Race Rocks, that's off Victoria, 36 days on the average. Coming off the head of Alberni inlet that's Alberni Harbour to the ocean is 18 days. See there's a time on this thing. Now certainly it goes at a given rate and each place has it's own rate depending on how high the river flow is. See the driving force is the river flow. Now obviously if you're going to put something in that you want carried away in the sewer, then first of all it must stay on the surface. In other words stay in the upper layer. And you mustn't overload it. These are the two limiting factors. Now up to the point where the system can carry it it's permissible. Beyond that, it's not permissible. This is the whole story.
Audience Member: How close are we to this permissible point?
Dr. Tully: Well I think from what I'm told, believe me I've been caught out on this one two or three times in the last month, as I understand it in certain areas we're past the point and this is what the problem is you see. If you go past the point then you have to do something up here on the shore. You have to do something about cleaning it up before you put it in the water. As a matter of fact the present philosophy is, as opposed to the old philosophy, is that you don't put anything in that's bad at all, in order to keep it as clean as Gods nature. Of course that will never happen.
President Parker: Any further questions? On our notice I mentioned that uh, the first employee of the biological station was Major Harrison. We have him with us tonight here. Would Major Harrison like to stand up and take a bow?
President Parker: And I have a short tape recording of his first experience here at the station and he promised to give me a better one later on. So it's quite interesting what he had to say. Two little row boats to work with and things like that.
They go on to elect officers but Dr. Tully's talk is over.
End of Tape