BOEM Sperm Whale Seismic Study (SWSS) S-Tag Argos Telemetry

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Dataset credit

Texas A&M University
Oregon State University
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Texas A&M University-Galveston
University of Colorado
University of Durham
University of Saint Andrews
University of South Florida
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


Primary contact Deborah Epperson Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University



Sperm Whale Seismic Study (SWSS) was a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary research project supported by the then Minerals Management Service (MMS; now Bureau of Ocean Energy Management - BOEM) under Cooperative Agreement 1435-01-02-CA-85186 for Cooperative Research on Sperm Whales and their Response to Seismic Exploration in the Gulf of Mexico through the Texas A&M Research Foundation.

The objectives of SWSS were to
(1) establish baseline information on the biology and behavior of sperm whales in the northern Gulf of Mexico,
(2) characterize sperm whale habitat use in the northern Gulf of Mexico, and
(3) determine possible changes in behavior of sperm whales when subjected to manmade noise, particularly from seismic airgun arrays used for offshore oil and gas exploration and geological monitoring.


not provided

Supplemental information

The base of this dataset is ARGOS telemetry location data that were deployed in S-Tag cruises in 2002-2005. The TagID (PTT#) and PhotoID, if available, were used to associate additional attributes such as biopsy and fin images with individual animals. These attributes will be released upon data provider's permission.




This section explains attributes included in the original dataset. OBIS-SEAMAP restricts the attributes available to the public to date/time, lat/lon and species names/counts only. Should you need other attributes described here, you are encouraged to contact the data provider.

Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
All attributes are included in the downloadable file (CSV or ESRI File Geodatabase) for "Complete Set of Dataset".

Attributes in dataset

Attribute (table column)Description
oidUnique ID number (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
tagidTelemetry device ID: First two digits are the field season last five digits are the PTT (Platform Transmiter Terminal) number
dateDate reported from ARGOS
timeTime reported from ARGOS in UTC
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
loc_classARGOS Location Class
messagesNumber of radio transmissions received by the ARGOS satellite
satelliteSatellite in the ARGOS constellation that received the tag transmission
deploymentIndicate if the record is the deployment location/date.
biopsyIndicate if biopsy sample was taken upon deployment or later or before.
sp_tsnTaxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
obs_count#animal. Always 1
sample_numBiopsy Sample Number
age_classAge class from biopsy
body_lengthEstimated bodh length
photo_idPhoto ID
image_path_namscimagesImage file name
image_path_photo_id_imagesImage file name
image_pathImage file name
resourcesInternal use; Added by OBIS-SEAMAP
geomgeometry added by OBIS-SEAMAP
Marine mammals3,171
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2002-06-24
Date, End2006-10-06
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude19.22 - 33.67
Longitude-96.95 - -75.14
Coord. prec.3 decimal digits
Data typeTelemetry location
TracklinesYES (ID: 811)
Traveled (km)158,667
Travel hours238,124
Contr. through
Sharing policy CC-BY (All)
Shared with OBIS*
GBIF (via DOI)*
* Aggregated summary
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics