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. Other seal species have been successfully used in the North Atlantic, such as hooded seals. These hydrographic data have been assembled in a quality-controlled database, the MEOP-CTD database, that can be accessed through this website.
75% of the MEOP-CTD database is publicly available from this portal. The remaining 25% data are still private, meaning that their owner have not yet accepted to share them unconditionally. Private data can still be accessed upon request. The spatial distribution of public and private data is provided below.
Marine mammal data are becoming predominant in some areas of the World Ocean, most conspicuously in the southern part of the Southern Ocean. This is clearly indicated by a comparison of the number of hydrographic profiles by degree of latitude from the MEOP-CTD database with the number of CTD (i.e. shipborne) or PFL (i.e. profiling floats such as Argo) hydrographic profiles present in the World Ocean Database (WOD13).
A simple visual inspection of the distribution maps of data density, here defined as the number of available profiles by squares of 1deg latitude x 1deg longitude, demonstrates the great complementarity between these three main source of hydrographic data.