Influences of Changes in the East Australian Current on Migrating Humpback Whales, Megaptera Novaeangliae, in Queensland, Australia

Joshua Reinke, Charles LEMCKERT, Jan Olaf Meynecke

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Abstract

Abstract

Humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, migrate annually from polar feeding grounds in summer to tropical breeding grounds in winter. East Australian humpback whales travel from the Southern Ocean, along the east coast of Australia, to the Great Barrier Reef (or further) to breed. Under normal conditions, the East Australian Current (EAC) flows poleward along the east coast and dominates the environment over the continental shelf. This current carries warm water from the tropics and is responsible for generating upwelling conditions on the coast and providing the majority of nutrients available for primary production. Sharp temperature changes develop at the border of the warm current and the cooler coastal and upwelled waters. However, unusual conditions were observed during May - June 2015, where a large cyclonic eddie was located offshore of the Gold Coast, resulting in a reversal of local current direction.

This study investigates relationships between humpback whale distribution and environmental conditions (including bathymetry and remotely sensed sea surface temperature, as well as their gradients) on the Gold Coast, Australia. The study was conducted from June to November, 2013-2015, encompassing both normal and unusual conditions of the EAC.

During normal conditions, humpback whales show a preference for cooler waters and in areas with a strong temperature gradient. The higher productivity in cooler upwelled water and fronts may provide the whales with a chance of opportunistic feeding, a rare occurrence on their prolonged journey. Following particular hydrodynamic features such as these, which generally run parallel to the shore, may also serve as a tool for navigation. It is predicted that significant changes in the strength, direction and/or location of currents will affect humpback whale distribution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-1
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventAnnual Meeting of the Asia-Oceania-Geosciences-Society (AOGS) - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 6 Aug 201711 Aug 2017
Conference number: 14
http://www.asiaoceania.org/aogs2017/

Conference

ConferenceAnnual Meeting of the Asia-Oceania-Geosciences-Society (AOGS)
Abbreviated titleAOGS
CountrySingapore
CitySingapore
Period6/08/1711/08/17
Internet address

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whale
coast
temperature gradient
gold
current direction
feeding ground
breeding site
barrier reef
warm water
bathymetry
water
navigation
primary production
continental shelf
upwelling
sea surface temperature
hydrodynamics
environmental conditions
productivity
nutrient

Cite this

Reinke, J., LEMCKERT, C., & Meynecke, J. O. (2017). Influences of Changes in the East Australian Current on Migrating Humpback Whales, Megaptera Novaeangliae, in Queensland, Australia. 1-1. Abstract from Annual Meeting of the Asia-Oceania-Geosciences-Society (AOGS), Singapore, Singapore.
Reinke, Joshua ; LEMCKERT, Charles ; Meynecke, Jan Olaf. / Influences of Changes in the East Australian Current on Migrating Humpback Whales, Megaptera Novaeangliae, in Queensland, Australia. Abstract from Annual Meeting of the Asia-Oceania-Geosciences-Society (AOGS), Singapore, Singapore.1 p.
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abstract = "Humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, migrate annually from polar feeding grounds in summer to tropical breeding grounds in winter. East Australian humpback whales travel from the Southern Ocean, along the east coast of Australia, to the Great Barrier Reef (or further) to breed. Under normal conditions, the East Australian Current (EAC) flows poleward along the east coast and dominates the environment over the continental shelf. This current carries warm water from the tropics and is responsible for generating upwelling conditions on the coast and providing the majority of nutrients available for primary production. Sharp temperature changes develop at the border of the warm current and the cooler coastal and upwelled waters. However, unusual conditions were observed during May - June 2015, where a large cyclonic eddie was located offshore of the Gold Coast, resulting in a reversal of local current direction.This study investigates relationships between humpback whale distribution and environmental conditions (including bathymetry and remotely sensed sea surface temperature, as well as their gradients) on the Gold Coast, Australia. The study was conducted from June to November, 2013-2015, encompassing both normal and unusual conditions of the EAC.During normal conditions, humpback whales show a preference for cooler waters and in areas with a strong temperature gradient. The higher productivity in cooler upwelled water and fronts may provide the whales with a chance of opportunistic feeding, a rare occurrence on their prolonged journey. Following particular hydrodynamic features such as these, which generally run parallel to the shore, may also serve as a tool for navigation. It is predicted that significant changes in the strength, direction and/or location of currents will affect humpback whale distribution.",
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Reinke, J, LEMCKERT, C & Meynecke, JO 2017, 'Influences of Changes in the East Australian Current on Migrating Humpback Whales, Megaptera Novaeangliae, in Queensland, Australia' Annual Meeting of the Asia-Oceania-Geosciences-Society (AOGS), Singapore, Singapore, 6/08/17 - 11/08/17, pp. 1-1.

Influences of Changes in the East Australian Current on Migrating Humpback Whales, Megaptera Novaeangliae, in Queensland, Australia. / Reinke, Joshua; LEMCKERT, Charles; Meynecke, Jan Olaf.

2017. 1-1 Abstract from Annual Meeting of the Asia-Oceania-Geosciences-Society (AOGS), Singapore, Singapore.

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Abstract

TY - CONF

T1 - Influences of Changes in the East Australian Current on Migrating Humpback Whales, Megaptera Novaeangliae, in Queensland, Australia

AU - Reinke, Joshua

AU - LEMCKERT, Charles

AU - Meynecke, Jan Olaf

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, migrate annually from polar feeding grounds in summer to tropical breeding grounds in winter. East Australian humpback whales travel from the Southern Ocean, along the east coast of Australia, to the Great Barrier Reef (or further) to breed. Under normal conditions, the East Australian Current (EAC) flows poleward along the east coast and dominates the environment over the continental shelf. This current carries warm water from the tropics and is responsible for generating upwelling conditions on the coast and providing the majority of nutrients available for primary production. Sharp temperature changes develop at the border of the warm current and the cooler coastal and upwelled waters. However, unusual conditions were observed during May - June 2015, where a large cyclonic eddie was located offshore of the Gold Coast, resulting in a reversal of local current direction.This study investigates relationships between humpback whale distribution and environmental conditions (including bathymetry and remotely sensed sea surface temperature, as well as their gradients) on the Gold Coast, Australia. The study was conducted from June to November, 2013-2015, encompassing both normal and unusual conditions of the EAC.During normal conditions, humpback whales show a preference for cooler waters and in areas with a strong temperature gradient. The higher productivity in cooler upwelled water and fronts may provide the whales with a chance of opportunistic feeding, a rare occurrence on their prolonged journey. Following particular hydrodynamic features such as these, which generally run parallel to the shore, may also serve as a tool for navigation. It is predicted that significant changes in the strength, direction and/or location of currents will affect humpback whale distribution.

AB - Humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, migrate annually from polar feeding grounds in summer to tropical breeding grounds in winter. East Australian humpback whales travel from the Southern Ocean, along the east coast of Australia, to the Great Barrier Reef (or further) to breed. Under normal conditions, the East Australian Current (EAC) flows poleward along the east coast and dominates the environment over the continental shelf. This current carries warm water from the tropics and is responsible for generating upwelling conditions on the coast and providing the majority of nutrients available for primary production. Sharp temperature changes develop at the border of the warm current and the cooler coastal and upwelled waters. However, unusual conditions were observed during May - June 2015, where a large cyclonic eddie was located offshore of the Gold Coast, resulting in a reversal of local current direction.This study investigates relationships between humpback whale distribution and environmental conditions (including bathymetry and remotely sensed sea surface temperature, as well as their gradients) on the Gold Coast, Australia. The study was conducted from June to November, 2013-2015, encompassing both normal and unusual conditions of the EAC.During normal conditions, humpback whales show a preference for cooler waters and in areas with a strong temperature gradient. The higher productivity in cooler upwelled water and fronts may provide the whales with a chance of opportunistic feeding, a rare occurrence on their prolonged journey. Following particular hydrodynamic features such as these, which generally run parallel to the shore, may also serve as a tool for navigation. It is predicted that significant changes in the strength, direction and/or location of currents will affect humpback whale distribution.

M3 - Abstract

SP - 1

EP - 1

ER -

Reinke J, LEMCKERT C, Meynecke JO. Influences of Changes in the East Australian Current on Migrating Humpback Whales, Megaptera Novaeangliae, in Queensland, Australia. 2017. Abstract from Annual Meeting of the Asia-Oceania-Geosciences-Society (AOGS), Singapore, Singapore.