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QC scripts to process MEOP data from tagged animals (

Since 2004, several hundred thousands profiles of temperature and salinity have been collected by instrumented animals. The use of elephant seals has been particularly effective to sample the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific. These hydrographic data have been assembled in a quality-controlled database, the MEOP-CTD database, that can be accessed through this website. For more information, visit the website For any questions, contact or


README: the MEOP-CTD database (owner: Fabien Roquet and the MEOP consortium) Release Date: 11/11/2017 Version name: MEOP-CTD_2017-11-11


Data are provided in three different formats.

  • DATA_ncARGO: For a thourough scientific use of the data, or for oceanographic data centers, it is advised to use the marine mammal netCDF format (files in DATA_ncARGO) as it serves as the reference. This format can be easily read in Ocean Data View, using the Import/ARGO profiles/Float profiles menu, or using your favorite data processing software (e.g. Python, Matlab, IDL).
  • DATA_ncARGO_interp: For ease of use, the DATA_ncARGO_interp provides the same data as in DATA_ncARGO, except it has been interpolated on a regular vertical grid (1dbar spacing).
  • DATA_csv_interp: A csv format (ASCII) is also provided (files in DATA_csv_interp) which can be opened with Excel or any text editor. Here, only data flagged as good are included, and are given on a regular vertical grid (1dbar spacing).


The data that is publicly available is shown in the figure map_global_public.png. More data is available upon request, as part of the MEOP-CTD database. See map_global_private.png for the distribution of private data. Important metadata and statistics are listed in the info_*.csv files:

  • info_total.csv gives global statistics about the MEOP-CTD database
  • info_groups.csv gives statistics by national groups (see MEOP groups for information)
  • info_deployments.csv gives statistics by deployment
  • info_tags.csv gives information and statistics by individual tag. For each deployments, distribution maps are available in the MAPS directory, and a pdf document with basic plots of CTD data (TS plots, time sections) is provided in the directory PDF.


If you use this dataset for a publication, please add the following sentence in the Acknowledgement part: "The marine mammal data were collected and made freely available by the International MEOP Consortium and the national programs that contribute to it ("

Also consider citing the following papers when you use the MEOP-CTD dataset for oceanographic applications:

  • Treasure, A. M., Roquet, F., Ansorge, I. J., Bester, M. N., Horst Bornemann, L. B., Charrassin, J.-B., Chevallier, D., Costa, D. P., Fedak, M. A., Guinet, C., Hammill, M. O., Harcourt, R. G., Hindell, M. A., Kovacs, K. M., Lea, M.-A., Lovell, P., Lowther, A. D., Lydersen, C., McIntyre, T., McMahon, C. R., Muelbert, M. M. C., Nicholls, K., Picard, B., Reverdin, G., Trites, A. W., Williams, G. D., and de Bruyn, P. J. N., 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
  • Roquet F., Williams G., Hindell M. A., Harcourt R., McMahon C. R., Guinet C., Charrassin J.-B., Reverdin G., Boehme L., Lovell P. and Fedak M. A., 2014. A Southern Indian Ocean database of hydrographic profiles obtained with instrumented elephant seals. Nature Scientific Data, 1:140028, doi: 10.1038/sdata.2014.28

Important technical papers :

  • A thorough description of the CTD-SRDL technology can be found in :
    • 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
  • The delayed-mode general methodology and estimated accuracy of CTD-SRDL hydrographic data are presented in :
    • Roquet F., Charrassin J.-B., Marchand S., Boehme L., Fedak M., Reverdin G., and Guinet C., 2011. Validating hydrographic data obtained from seal-borne satellite-relayed data loggers. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 28:787-801. doi: 10.1175/2010JTECHO801.1
  • The density inversion removal algorithm is described in :
    • Barker, P. M. and McDougall, T. J., 2017. Stabilizing Hydrographic Profiles with Minimal Change to the Water Masses. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 34:1935-1945. doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-16-0111.1
  • The thermal cell effect correction is described in :
    • 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. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 35:1237–1252. doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-17-0141.1

National specificities :

  • For Australian data: Any users of IMOS data are required to clearly acknowledge the source of the material derived from IMOS in the format: "Data was sourced from the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) - IMOS is a national collaborative research infrastructure, supported by Australian Government.” IMOS data is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CCBY) License, ("
  • For German and South African data: Primary data are also made available through PANGAEA. Please cite : doi10.1594/PANGAEA.150008 for data related to Marion Island (Southern Ocean Indian Sector) doi10.1594/PANGAEA.150009 for data related to King George Island (Southern Ocean Atlantic Sector) doi10.1594/PANGAEA.150010 for data related to Atka Bay, Drescher Inlet, Filchner Trough (Southern Ocean Atlantic Sector)


QC scripts to process MEOP data from tagged animals (




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