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f98u2le5 - Lesson V. Marine Mammal Tracking The goal of...

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Lesson V. Marine Mammal Tracking The goal of this unit is to explain how eddies are used in marine mammal tracking. Keywords: eddies, loop currents, anticyclonic eddies, sea surface lows, cyclones The scientists at Texas A&M University are working to study the distribution and abundance of sperm whales and other marine mammals in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Sperm whales are an endangered species of marine mammals, so therefore they are most interested in how many presently reside in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Satellite data and knowledge about the whales feeding habits led scientists to the gulf’s ocean oases where whales gather to feast. Scientists used data from TOPEX/Poseidon to track the location of the Loop Current , and to monitor the anticyclonic eddies that periodically separate from its northward intrusions into the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Eddies Source: Texas A&M University Quarterdeck Magazine Eddies are swirls of water currents spun off from a main current or forced by the wind. Ocean eddies may persist from a week to as long as a year, have diameters of tens to hundreds of kilometers, and extend to great depths in the oceans. These currents play an important role in ocean circulation by transporting heat, salt and nutrients through the waters. In the atmosphere, weather consists of
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f98u2le5 - Lesson V. Marine Mammal Tracking The goal of...

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