Apr 9, 2016

Multi-scale responses of scattering layers to environmental variability in Monterey Bay, California

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Samuel S Urmy, John K Horne


A 38 kHz upward-facing echosounder was deployed on the seafloor at a depth of 875 m in Monterey Bay, CA, USA (36° 42.748' N, 122° 11.214' W) from 27 February 2009 to 18 August 2010. This 18-month record of acoustic backscatter was compared to oceanographic time series from a nearby data buoy to investigate the responses of animals in sound-scattering layers to oceanic variability at seasonal and sub-seasonal time scales. Pelagic animals, as measured by acoustic backscatter, moved higher in the water column and decreased in abundance during spring upwelling, attributed to avoidance of a shoaling oxycline and advection offshore. Seasonal changes were most evident in a non-migrating scattering layer near 500 m depth that disappeared in spring and reappeared in summer, building to a seasonal maximum in fall. At sub-seasonal time scales, similar responses were observed after individual upwelling events, though they were much weaker than the seasonal relationship. Correlations of acoustic backscatter with oceanographic variability also differed with depth. Backscatter in the upper water column decreased immediately following upwelling, then increased approximately 20 days later. Similar correlations existed deeper in the water column...Continue Reading

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A & D
Phalacrocorax pelagicus
AT 10

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