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dc:abstract Abstract Foraging adult southern elephant seals, Mirounga leonina, from Penı́nsula Valdés, Argentina, dive continuously while travelling across the continental shelf towards deep waters of the SW Atlantic. This study attempted to identify distinct ocean environments encountered by these seals during foraging migrations based on bathymetric and water temperature profiles, and to interpret these profiles in terms of mixing and systems of currents. Depth and water temperature were obtained with data loggers carried by 14 diving adult animals during spring (October–December) and summer (February–March) months. Dive depths allowed us to unmistakably differentiate extensive areas of the SW Atlantic: the Patagonian shelf, shelf slope and open waters of the Argentine Basin. Water temperature profiles added further details to the latter general oceanographic areas, and could be related to large-scale oceanographic processes that led to different water column structures. Temperature data reflected the mixing effects of winds and tides in coastal waters, the formation of a thermocline in mid-shelf areas, the northward flow of the sub-antartic Malvinas Current at the edge of the shelf, and the effect of the subtropical Brazil Current further east over deep off-shelf waters. Some of these distinct areas are known for their enhanced primary production associated with frontal systems. The study shows that elephant seals could be useful, low-cost platforms to obtain oceanographic data. Studies that require extensive sampling of physical variables in large areas over long periods of time would benefit from this approach, pending on more precise and frequent locations of animals at sea. Keywords: elephant seals, foraging,frontal zones, Patagonia,elefantes marinos http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924796399000913
dc:creator CLAUDIO CAMPAGNA, ANDRES L. RIVAS, M. ROSA MARIN
prism:doi <http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0924-7963(99)00091-3>
dc:format PDF
prism:publicationDate 2000 (xsd:gYear)
dc:references <http://linkeddata.cenpat-conicet.gob.ar/resource/platform/AALE>
dc:title TEMPERATURE AND DEPTH PROFILES RECORDED DURING DIVES OF ELEPHANT SEALS REFLECT DISTINCT OCEAN ENVIRONMENTS
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rdf:type fabio:JournalArticle

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