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Water Column Profiler (WCP) data from shallow and deep ocean moorings deployed on multiple marine cruises investigating krill abundance variability around South Georgia, 2004-2005


Water Column Profiler (WCP) data collected from shallow (300m) and deep (1300m) moorings in the Southern Ocean between Nov 2004 and April 2005. The WCP estimated the krill biomass using sound waves of 120kHz.

Data were collected by deployment of sub-surface moorings equipped with physical and biological sensor systems. The main buoys with the sensor systems were designed to float 200m below the water surface, to minimise the impact of icebergs while giving good sample coverage for the upper water column. The acoustic instruments were oriented upwards towards the surface and each mooring had 3 monitoring systems on-board: 1) a water column profiler (WCP), 2) an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) and 3) a Conductivity/ Temperature/ Depth (CTD) analyser.

This work took place as part of a project to: a) quantify the magnitude and timing of short-term, ecologically significant, intra-annual variability in krill abundance at South Georgia; b) describe the effect of oceanic tides at the two locations; c) test the hypothesis that krill immigration to, and hence abundance at, South Georgia is mediated by influx of cold waters; and d) determine functional responses of predators to short term variations in prey (krill) abundance. Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) is of vital importance to the South Georgia marine ecosystem providing food for a high proportion of Antarctic wildlife, and is eaten by most animals (seals, whales, birds, fish, squid, penguins).

Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, Southern Ocean, WCP, biological sensor, krill biomass, water column profiler

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