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 2015-2019

[bio] Hamilton, C. D., Kovacs, K. M., and Lydersen, C., 2019. Sympatric seals use different habitats in an Arctic glacial fjord . Marine Ecology Progress Series, 615:205-220. doi: 10.3354/meps12917

[bio] Heerah, K., Cox, S.L., Blevin, P., Guinet, C., Charrassin, J.-B., 2019. Validation of Dive Foraging Indices Using Archived and Transmitted Acceleration Data: The Case of the Weddell Seal. Front. Ecol. Evol. 7.

[ocean] Foppert, A., Rintoul, S. R., and England, M. H., 2019. Along-Slope Variability of Cross-Slope Eddy Transport in East Antarctica. Geophysical Research Letters, 46:8224--8233. doi: 10.1029/2019GL082999 

[bio] McMahon, C. R., Hindell, M. A., Charrassin, J.-B., Corney, S., Guinet, C., Harcourt, R., Jonsen, I., Trebilco, R., Williams, G., and Bestley, S., 2019. Finding mesopelagic prey in a changing Southern Ocean. Scientific Reports, 9:19013.    

[bio] Nachtsheim, D. A., Ryan, S., Schröder, M., Jensen, L., Oosthuizen, W. C., Bester, M. N., Hagen, W., and Bornemann, H., 2019. Foraging behaviour of Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) in connection to oceanographic conditions in the southern Weddell Sea. Progress in Oceanography, 173:165-179. doi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2019.02.013

[ocean] Narayanan, A., Gille, S. T., Mazloff, M. R., and Murali, K., 2019. Water Mass Characteristics of the Antarctic Margins and the Production and Seasonality of Dense Shelf Water. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 124:9277-9294. doi: 10.1029/2018JC014907    

[ocean] Piñones, A., Hofmann, E., Costa, D., Goetz, K., Burns, J., Roquet, F., Dinniman, M., Klinck, J.M., 2018. Hydrographic variability along the inner and mid-shelf region of the western Ross Sea obtained using instrumented seals. Progress in Oceanography, doi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2019.01.003.

[bio] [ocean] Siegelman, L., O’Toole, M., Flexas, M., Rivière, P., & Klein, P. (2019). Submesoscale ocean fronts act as biological hotspot for southern elephant seal. Scientific reports, 9(1), 5588. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-42117-w

[MEOP tech] Siegelman, L., Roquet, F., Mensah, V., Rivière, P., Pauthenet, E., Picard, B., & Guinet, C. (2019). Correction and accuracy of high-and low-resolution ctd data from animal-borne instruments. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 36(5), 745-760. doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-18-0170.1

[bio] [ocean] Everett, A., Kohler, J., Sundfjord, A., Kovacs, K. M., Torsvik, T., Pramanik, A., Boehme, L., and Lydersen, C., 2018. Subglacial discharge plume behaviour revealed by CTD-instrumented ringed seals. Scientific Reports, 8:13467. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-31875-8

[ocean] Goszczko, I., Ingvaldsen, R. B., and Onarheim, I. H., 2018. Wind-Driven Cross-Shelf Exchange—West Spitsbergen Current as a Source of Heat and Salt for the Adjacent Shelf in Arctic Winters. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 123:2668-2696. doi: 10.1002/2017JC013553

[bio] Hamilton, C. D., Kovacs, K. M., and Lydersen, C., 2018. Individual variability in diving, movement and activity patterns of adult bearded seals in Svalbard, Norway. Scientific Reports, 8:16988. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-35306-6

[ocean] Hattermann, T., 2018. Antarctic Thermocline Dynamics along a Narrow Shelf with Easterly Winds. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 48:2419-2443. doi: 10.1175/JPO-D-18-0064.1

[bio] Jonsen, I., McMahon, C., Patterson, T., Auger-Methe, M., Harcourt, R., Hindell, M., and Bestley, S., 2018. Movement behaviour responses to environment: fast inference of individual variation with a mixed effects model. bioRxiv, 314690. doi: 10.1101/314690

[bio]  Labrousse, S., Williams, G. D., Tamura, T., Bestley, S., Sallee, J.-B., Fraser, A. D., Sumner, M., Roquet, F., Heerah, K., Guinet, C., Harcourt, R. G., McMahon C. R., Hindell, M. A., Charrassin, J.-B., 2018. Coastal polynyas: Winter oases for top predators in East Antarctica. Scientific reports, doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-21388-9

[ocean] Mallett, H. K. W., Boehme, L., Fedak, M. A., Heywood, K. J., Stevens, D. P., and Roquet, F., 2018. Variation in the distribution and properties of Circumpolar Deep Water in the eastern Amundsen Sea, on seasonal timescales, using seal‐borne tags. Geophysical Research Letters. doi: 10.1029/2018GL077430

[MEOP tech] Mensah, V., Roquet, F., Siegelman-Charbit, L., Picard, B., Pauthenet, E., Guinet, C., 2018.  A correction methodology for the thermal mass induced-errors of CTD tags mounted on marine mammals. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technologies, doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-17-0141.1 

[ocean] Pauthenet, E., Roquet, F., Madec, G., Guinet, C., Hindell, M., McMahon, C. R. et al. (2018). Seasonal meandering of the Polar Front upstream of the Kerguelen Plateau. Geophysical Research Letters, 45. doi: 10.1029/2018GL079614

[ocean] Pellichero, V., Sallée, J.-B., Chapman, C. C., and Downes, S. M., 2018. The southern ocean meridional overturning in the sea-ice sector is driven by freshwater fluxes. Nature Communications, 9:1789. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04101-2

[bio] Sequeira, A. M. M., et al., 2018. Convergence of marine megafauna movement patterns in coastal and open oceans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Mar 2018, 115 (12) 3072-3077; doi: 10.1073/pnas.1716137115 

[ocean] Silvano, A., Rintoul, S. R., Peña-Molino, B., Hobbs, W. R., van Wijk, E., Aoki, S., Tamura, T., and Williams, G. D., 2018. Freshening by glacial meltwater enhances melting of ice shelves and reduces formation of Antarctic Bottom Water. Science Advances, 4. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aap9467

[bio] Vacquie-Garcia J., Lydersen C., Biuw M., Haug T., Fedak M.A., Kovacs K., 2017. Hooded seal Cystophora cristata foraging areas in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean -Investigated using three complementary methods. PLOS ONE 12(12): e0187889. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0187889 

[bio] Chambault P., Roquet F., Benhamou S., Baudena A., Pauthenet E., de Thoisy B., Bonola M., Dos Reis V., Brucker M., Le Maho Y., Chevallier D., Crasson R., 2017. The Gulf Stream frontal system: a key oceanographic feature in the selection of foraging habitats by the leatherback turtle? Deep-Sea Research Part I. doi: 10.1016/j.dsr.2017.03.003 

[bio] Labrousse, S., J. B. Sallée, A. D. Fraser, R. Massom, P. Reid, M. Sumner, C. Guinet, R. Harcourt, C. R. McMahon, F. Bailleul, M. Hindell and J. B. Charrassin (2017). Under the sea ice: Exploring the relationship between sea ice and the foraging behaviour of southern elephant seals in East Antarctica. Progress in Oceanography 156: 17-40.doi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2017.05.014

[bio] Labrousse S., Sallee J.-B., Fraser A., Massom R. A., Reid P., Hobbs W., Guinet C., Harcourt R., McMahon C., Authier M., Bailleul F., Hindell M., Charrassin J.-B., 2017. Variability in sea ice cover and climate elicit sex specific responses in an Antarctic predator. Nature Scientific Reports. doi: 10.1038/srep43236 

[ocean] Liu, C., Z. Wang, C. Cheng, R. Xia, B. Li and Z. Xie (2017). "Modeling modified Circumpolar Deep Water intrusions onto the Prydz Bay continental shelf, East Antarctica. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 122(7): 5198-5217. doi: 10.1002/2016JC012336

[bio] Malpress, V., Bestley, S., Corney, S., Welsford, D., Labrousse, S., Sumner, M., and Hindell, M., 2017. Bio-physical characterisation of polynyas as a key foraging habitat for juvenile male southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) in Prydz Bay, East Antarctica. PLOS ONE, 12:e0184536. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184536

[ocean] Pellichero V., Sallee J.-B., Schmidtko S., Roquet F., Charrassin J.-B., 2016. The ocean mixed-layer under Southern Ocean sea-ice: seasonal cycle and forcing. Journal of Geophysical Research (Ocean), doi: 10.1002/2016JC011970

[bio] Rodríguez, J. P., J. Fernández-Graciab, M. Thums, M. A. Hindell, A. M. M. Sequeirae, M. G. Meekan, D. P. Costa, C. Guinet, R. G. Harcourt, C. R. McMahon, M. Muelbert, C. M. Duartek and V. M. Eguíluza (2017). Big data analyses reveal patterns and drivers of the movements of southern elephant seals. Scientific Reports 7: 122. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-00165-0

[MEOP ocean] Roquet, F., L. Boehme, B. Block, J.-B. Charrassin, D. Costa, C. Guinet, R.G. Harcourt, M.A. Hindell, L.A. Hückstädt, C.R. McMahon, B. Woodward, and M.A. Fedak. 2017. Ocean observations using tagged animals. Oceanography 30(2):139, doi: 10.5670/oceanog.2017.235. [PDF]

[ocean] Takuya Nakanowatari, Kay Ohshima, Vigan Mensah, Yoko Mitani, Kaoru Hattori, Mari Kobayashi, Fabien Roquet, Yasunori Sakurai, Humio Mitsudera, Masaaki Wakatsuchi, 2017. Hydrographic observations by instrumented marine mammals in the Sea of Okhotsk. Polar Science, 13:56-65. doi:10.1016/j.polar.2017.06.001

[ocean] Xu, Z., G. Gao, J. Xu and M. Shi (2017). The evolution of water property in the Mackenzie Bay polynya during Antarctic winter. Journal of Ocean University of China 16(5): 766-774. doi: 10.1007/s11802-017-3286-8

[MEOP community paper] Treasure, A.M., F. Roquet, I.J. Ansorge, M.N. Bester, L. Boehme, H. Bornemann, J.-B. Charrassin, D. Chevallier, D.P. Costa, M.A. Fedak, C. Guinet, M.O. Hammill, R.G. Harcourt, M.A. Hindell, K.M. Kovacs, M.-A. Lea, P. Lovell, A.D. Lowther, C. Lydersen, T. McIntyre, C.R. McMahon, M.M.C. Muelbert, K. Nicholls, B. Picard, G. Reverdin, A.W. Trites, G.D. Williams, and P.J.N. de Bruyn. 2017. Marine Mammals Exploring the Oceans Pole to Pole: A review of the MEOP consortium. Oceanography 30(2):132–138, doi: 10.5670/oceanog.2017.234. [PDF]

 [bio] Blanchet, M.-A., Lydersen, C., Ims, R. A., and Kovacs, K. M., 2015. Seasonal, Oceanographic and Atmospheric Drivers of Diving Behaviour in a Temperate Seal Species Living in the High Arctic. PLoS ONE, 10:e0132686. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0132686

[bio] Chambault, P., Thoisy, B. d., Heerah, K., Conchon, A., Barrioz, S., Reis, V. D., Berzins, R., Kelle, L., Picard, B., Roquet, F., Maho, Y. L., and Chevallier, D., 2016. The influence of oceanographic features on the foraging behavior of the olive ridley sea turtle Lepidochelys olivacea along the Guiana coast. Progress in Oceanography. doi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2016.01.006

 [bio] Hamilton, C., Lydersen, C., Ims, R., and Kovacs, K., 2016. Coastal habitat use by ringed seals Pusa hispida following a regional sea-ice collapse: importance of glacial refugia in a changing Arctic . Marine Ecology Progress Series, 545:261-277. doi: 10.3354/meps11598

[MEOP bio] Hindell M. A., McMahon C. R., Bester M. N., Boehme L., Costa D., Fedak M. A., Guinet C., Herraiz-Borreguero L., Harcourt R. G., Huckstadt L., Kovacs K. M., Lydersen C., McIntyre T., Muelbert M., Patterson T., Roquet F., Williams G. and Charrassin J.-B, 2016. Circumpolar habitat use in the southern elephant seal: implications for foraging success and population trajectories. Ecosphere. doi: 10.1002/ecs2.1213 [PDF] 

[ocean] Lowther, A., Lydersen, C., and Kovacs, K., 2016. The seasonal evolution of shelf water masses around Bouvetøya, a sub-Antarctic island in the mid-Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean, determined from an instrumented southern elephant seal. Polar Research, 35. doi: 10.3402/polar.v35.28278

[ocean] Williams, G. D., Herraiz-Borreguero, L., Roquet, F., Tamura, T., Ohshima, K. I., Fukamachi, Y., Fraser, A. D., Gao, L., Chen, H., McMahon, C. R., Harcourt, R., and Hindell, M., 2016. The suppression of Antarctic bottom water formation by melting ice shelves in Prydz Bay. Nat Commun, 7. doi: 10.1038/ncomms12577 [PDF]

[ocean] Zhang X., Thompson A., Mar Flexas M., Roquet F., Bornemann H., 2016. Circulation and melwater distribution in the Bellingshausen Sea: from shelf break to coast. Geophysical Research Letters. doi: 10.1002/2016GL068998 [PDF]

[MEOP ocean] Bailleul, F., Vacquie-Garcia, J., and Guinet, C., 2015. Dissolved Oxygen Sensor in Animal-Borne Instruments: An Innovation for Monitoring the Health of Oceans and Investigating the Functioning of Marine Ecosystems. PLoS ONE, 10:e0132681.

[ocean] Barthélemy, A., Fichefet, T., Goosse, H., and Madec, G., 2015. Modeling the interplay between sea ice formation and the oceanic mixed layer: Limitations of simple brine rejection parameterizations. Ocean Modelling, 86:141-152.

 [ocean] Bayle S., Guinet C., Nerini D., Monestiez P., 2015 Moving toward finer scales in oceanography: predictive linear functional model of chlorophyll-a profile from light data. Progress in Oceanography. doi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2015.02.001    

[bio] Bestley, S., Jonsen, I., Gales, N., Harcourt, R., Hindell, M. 2015. Taking animal tracking to new depths: synthesizing horizontal-vertical movement relationships for four marine predators. Ecology 96(2):417  DOI:10.1890/14-0469.1

[tech] Biermann L, Guinet C, Bester M , Brierley AS, Boehme L, 2015. An alternative method for correcting fluorescence quenching. Ocean Science , vol 11, no. 1, pp. 83-91.

[bio] Blanchet, M.-A., Lydersen, C., Ims, R. A., and Kovacs, K. M., 2015. Seasonal, Oceanographic and Atmospheric Drivers of Diving Behaviour in a Temperate Seal Species Living in the High Arctic. PLoS ONE, 10:e0132686.

[bio] Cotté C., D’ovidio F., Dragon A.-C., Guinet C., Lévy M., 2015. Top predator preference in a complex environment: Elephant seals target distinct mesoscale features of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Progress in Oceanography. 131, 46–58. 

[bio] Della Penna A., De Monte S., Guinet C., Kestenare E., D'Ovidio F., 2015. Quasi-planktonic behaviour of foraging top marine predators. Scientific Reports. 5:18063. doi: 10.1038/srep18063

[bio] Genin A.  Richard, G., Jouma’a J., Picard B., El Ksabi N., Vacquie Garcia J., Guinet, C., 2015. characterization of postdive recovery using sound recordings and its relationship to dive duration, exertion and foraging effort of southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina). Mar. Mamm. Sci. doi: 10.1111/mms.12235

[ocean] Herraiz-Borreguero, L., Coleman, R., Allison, I., Rintoul, S. R., Craven, M., and Williams, G. D., 2015. Circulation of modified Circumpolar Deep Water and basal melt beneath the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 120:3098–3112.

[bio] Hussey, N. E., Kessel, S. T., Aarestrup, K., Cooke, S. J., Cowley, P. D., Fisk, A. T., Harcourt, R. G., Holland, K. N., Iverson, S. J., Kocik, J. F., Mills Flemming, J. E., and Whoriskey, F. G., 2015. Aquatic animal telemetry: A panoramic window into the underwater world. Science, 348.

[bio] Jouma’a J., Le Bras Y., Richard G., Vacquié-Garcia J., Picard B., El Ksabi N., Guinet C., 2015. Adjustment of diving behaviour with prey encounters and body condition in a deep diving predator: the Southern Elephant Seal. Functional Ecology. 30:636-648. doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12514

[bio] Labrousse S., Vacquié-Garcia J.,  Heerah K., Guinet C., Sallee J.-B., Authier M., Picard B., Roquet F., Bailleul F., Hindell M., Charrassin J.-B., 2015. Winter habitat use of southern elephant seals in the sea ice. Progress in Oceanography. doi: 10.1016/j.pocean.2015.05.023

[tech] Lowther, A. D., Lydersen, C., Fedak, M. A., Lovell, P., and Kovacs, K. M., 2015. The Argos-CLS Kalman Filter: Error Structures and State-Space Modelling Relative to Fastloc GPS Data. PLoS ONE, 10:e0124754 EP.

[bio] Lowther, A. D., Lydersen, C., and Kovacs, K. M., 2015. A sum greater than its parts: merging multi-predator tracking studies to increase ecological understanding. Ecosphere, 6:1–13.

[ocean] Mernild, S. H., Holland, D. M., Holland, D., Rosing-Asvid, A., Yde, J. C., Liston, G. E., and Steffen, K., 2015. Freshwater Flux and Spatiotemporal Simulated Runoff Variability into Ilulissat Icefjord, West Greenland, Linked to Salinity and Temperature Observations near Tidewater Glacier Margins Obtained Using Instrumented Ringed Seals. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 45:1426-1445.

[bio] O'toole M.D., Lea M., Guinet C., Schick R., Hindell M.A., 2015. Foraging strategy switch of a top marine predator according to seasonal resource differences. Front. Mar. Sci. 2:21. doi:10.3389/fmars.2015.00021 

[ocean] Sauzede R., Lavigne H., Claustre H., Uitz J., Schmechtig C., D'ortenzio F., Guinet C., Pesant S., 2015. Vertical distribution of chlorophyll a concentration and phytoplankton community composition from in situ fluorescence profiles: a first database for the global ocean. ESSDD8(1):365-399. DOI:10.5194/essdd-8-365-2015

[tech] Photopoulou, T., Fedak, M. A., Matthiopoulos, J., McConnell, B., and Lovell, P., 2015. The generalized data management and collection protocol for Conductivity-Temperature-Depth Satellite Relay Data Loggers. Animal Biotelemetry, 3:21. doi: 10.1186/s40317-015-0053-8   [PDF]

[bio] Vacquie-Garcia J., Guinet C., Laurent C. Bailleul F., 2015. Delineation of the southern elephant seal's main foraging environments defined by temperature and light conditions. Deep Sea Res II. 11/2014; 113. doi: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2014.10.029

[bio] Vacquie-Garcia J., Guinet C., Dragon A.C., Viviant M., Elskabi N., Bailleul F., 2015. Predicting prey capture rates of southern elephant seals from track and dive parameters. Marine Ecology progress Series. 541: 265–277,  doi: 10.3354/meps11511