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.

The MEOP data portal

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Content of the website

Publications 2000-2009

[MEOP tech] Boehme L., Lovell P., Biuw M., Roquet F., Nicholson J., Thorpe S. E., Meredith M. P., and Fedak M., 2009. Technical Note: Animal-borne CTD-Satellite Relay Data Loggers for real-time oceanographic data collection. Ocean Sci., 5:685-695. doi: 10.5194/os-5-685-2009 [PDF]

[bio] Bost, C.A., C. Cotte, F. Bailleul, Y. Cherel, J.B. Charrassin, C. Guinet, D.G. Ainley, H. Weimerskirch, 2009. The importance of oceanographic fronts to marine birds and mammals of the southern oceans. Special Issue on Processes at Oceanic Fronts of the Journal of Marine Systems (JMS-SIOF), Journal of Marine Systems, 78, 363-376 

 [ocean] Roquet F., Park Y.-H., Guinet C., Bailleul F., and Charrassin J.-B., 2009. Observations of the Fawn Trough Current over the Kerguelen Plateau from instrumented elephant seals. Journal of Marine Systems, 78:377-393. doi: 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2008.11.017

[ocean] Wunsch, C., Heimbach, P., Ponte, R. M., and Fukumori, I., 2009. Global General Circulation of the Ocean Estimated by the ECCO-Consortium. Oceanography, 22:88-103.

 [bio] Bailleul F., D. Pinaud, M. Hindell, J.B. Charrassin, C. Guinet, 2008. Assessment of scale-dependent foraging behaviour in southern elephant seals incorporating the vertical dimension: a development of the First Passage Time method. Journal of Animal Ecology, 77, 948-957

[bio] Boehme, L., S.E. Thorpe, M. Biuw, M. Fedak and M.P. Meredith, 2008. Monitoring Drake Passage with elephant seals: Frontal structures and snapshots of transport. Limnology & Oceanography, 53, 2350-2360

 [bio] Boehme, L., Meredith, M., Thorpe, S., Biuw, M., and Fedak, M. A., 2008. The ACC frontal system in the South Atlantic: monitoring using merged Argo and animal-borne sensor data. J. Geophys. Res., 113.

[MEOP ocean] Charrassin J.-B., Hindell M., Rintoul S. R., Roquet F.,  Sokolov S., Biuw M., Costa D., Boehme L., Lovell P., Coleman R., Timmermann R., Meijers A., Meredith M., Park Y.-H., Bailleul F., Goebel M., Tremblay Y., Bost C.-A., McMahon C. R., Field I. C., Fedak M. A., and Guinet C., 2008. Southern Ocean frontal structure and sea-ice formation rates revealed by elephant seals. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sc., 105:11634-11639. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0800790105 [PDF]

[ocean] Costa, D. P., Klinck, J., Hofmann, E. E., Dinniman, M., and Burns, J. M., 2008. Upper ocean variability in west Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf waters as measured using instrumented seals. Deep-Sea Res. II, 55:323-337.

[tech] Freitas, C., Lydersen, C., Fedak, M. A., and Kovacs, K. M., 2008. A simple new algorithm to filter marine mammal Argos locations. Marine Mammal Science, 24:315-325.

[tech] McMahon, C. R., Field, I. C., Bradshaw, C. J. A., White, G. C., and Hindell, M. A., 2008. Tracking and data-logging devices attached to elephant seals do not affect individual mass gain or survival. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 360:71–77. [PDF]

[ocean] Nicholls, K. W., Boehme, L., Biuw, M., and Fedak, M. A., 2008. Wintertime ocean conditions over the southern Weddell Sea continental shelf, Antarctica. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35:L21605.

[ocean] Park Y.-H., Roquet F., Durand I., and Fuda J.-L., 2008. Large scale circulation over and around the northern Kerguelen Plateau. Deep-Sea Res. II, 55:566-581. doi: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2007.12.030

 [bio] Bailleul F., Charrassin J.-B., Monestiez P., Roquet F., Biuw M., and Guinet C., 2007. Successful foraging zones of southern elephant seals from Kerguelen Islands in relation to oceanographic conditions. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. B: Biological Sciences, 362:2169-2181. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2007.2109

[bio] Bailleul, F., Charrassin, J.-B., Ezraty, R., Girard-Ardhuin, F., McMahon, C. R., Field, I. C., and Guinet, C., 2007. Southern elephant seals from Kerguelen Islands confronted by Antarctic Sea ice. Changes in movements and in diving behaviour. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 54:343-355.

 [pre-MEOP bio] Biuw M., Boehme L., Guinet C., Hindell M., Costa D., Charrassin J.-B., Roquet F.,  Bailleul F., Meredith M., Thorpe S., Tremblay Y., McDonald B., Park Y.-H., Rintoul S. R., Bindoff N., Goebel M., Crocker D., Lovell P., Nicholson J., Monks F., and Fedak M. A., 2007. Variations in behaviour and condition of a Southern Ocean top predator in relation to in situ oceanographic conditions. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 104:13705-13710. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0701121104 [PDF]

 [pre-MEOP] Fedak, M. A., 2004. Marine animals as platforms for oceanographic sampling: a "win/win" situation for biology and operational oceanography. Memoirs of the National Institute of Polar Research, 58:133-147. [PDF]

[ocean] Lydersen, C., Anders Nøst, O., Kovacs, K. M., and Fedak, M. A., 2004. Temperature data from Norwegian and Russian waters of the northern Barents Sea collected by free-living ringed seals. Journal of Marine Systems, 46:99-108.

 [pre-MEOP] Fedak, M. A., Lovell, P., McConnell, B. J., and Hunter, C., 2002. Overcoming the constraints of long range radio telemetry from animals: getting more useful data from smaller packages. Journal of Integrative and Comparative Biology (formerly American Zoologist), 42(3).

 [pre-MEOP] Lydersen, C., Nøst, O. A., Lovell, P., McConnell, B. J., Gammelsrød, T., Hunter, C., Fedak, M. A., and Kovacs, K. M., 2002. Salinity and temperature structure of a freezing Arctic fjord monitored by white whales (Delphinapterus leucas). Geophys. Res. Lett., 29. [PDF]

[pre-MEOP] Vincent, C., McConnell, B., Ridoux, V., and Fedak, M., 2002. Assessment of Argos location accuracy from satellite tags deployed on captive gray seals. Marine Mammal Science, 18:156-166.

[pre-MEOP] Boehlert,G. W., Costa, D. P., Crocker, D. E., Green, P., O'Brien, T., Levitus, S., and Le Boeuf, B. J., 2001. Autonomous Pinniped Environmental Samplers: Using Instrumented Animals as Oceanographic Data Collectors. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 18:1882--1893.