Marine Mammals Exploring the Oceans Pole to Pole

When diving animals help us to observe the oceans

Over 800,000 vertical profiles of Temperature and Salinity have been collected since 2004 in the World Ocean by attaching tags on marine mammals, such as Southern elephant seals.

In this website, you will find information about the marine mammal tagging programs, and an access point to the publicly available databases.

Please let us know if you are using our data. You can contact us by mail to if you have any question.

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MEOP-TDR Database: high spatio-temporal resolution temperature/light data

Since 2008, TDR (time-depth recorder) archival tag have been deployed on elephant seals in the Kerguelen Islands in combination with CTD-SRDLs or with FastLoc GPS for the geo-positioning (C. Guinet, SO-MEMO). The loggers, either TDR-MK9 or TDR10, are manufactured by Wildlife Computers and are able to measure continuously pressure, temperature and light along the seal foraging trip. The resolution and precision of temperature data is rather low, of order 0.5C, however the spatial resolution is unusually high with more than 60 profiles every day. 

This original dataset is now publicly available as the MEOP-TDR database. The data is available in timeseries form (nctraj format) and in profile form (ncargo format). In both cases the temperature data has been adjusted to minimize the difference with the SMRU CTD-SRDL temperature data that was available simultaneously.

To download the public data, you have to fill in a simple form, asking for your name, email, who you are and what you plan to do with the data. You will then access a page with the links to the data. The MEOP-CTD, MEOP-SMS and MEOP-TDR databases can be accessed a zip file or through a read-only Dropbox folder. 

Figure 1: Distribution of TDR profiles of temperature and light.

Figure 2: Exemple of temperature section obtained with the TDR-MK9 mk9-0890328-09.