Photo of twin-tails with R/V Gyre in background by Jonathan Gordon.

The Sperm Whale Seismic Study (SWSS) is sponsored by the U.S. Minerals Management Service and involves researchers from Texas A&M University, Oregon State University, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Univerity of Durham, and Ecologic in coordination with the International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC). The program will study sperm whales and their response to seismic exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.

SWSS 2003

Three cruises will be conducted in the Gulf of Mexico in 2003. The D-Tag cruise will monitor whale behavior during controlled exposures to sounds. The Survey&Habitat cruise will collect biological and environmental samples and photograph flukes to identify individual whales. The S-Tag cruise will attempt to tag whales and track their movements via satellite. All three cruises will conduct both passive acoustic and visual tracking of whales. Tentative cruise dates are as follows.

Tentative Ship Schedule for SWSS Activities in 2003
D-Tag 4-June to 24-June 2003 Aboard the Maurice Ewing.
Survey&Habitat 31-May to 21-June 2003 Aboard the R/V Gyre.
S-Tag 26-June to 16-July 2003 Aboard the R/V Gyre
Contact information for persons onboard the R/V Gyre.

Cruise Plans

This ms word document contains the new D-Tag cruise plan.
The Survey & Habitat cruise plan as a ms word document is available here.
The S-Tag Cruise plan is now ready. It is a MS Word document - pick it up here.

Daily Email from Sea

Read the R/V Gyre daily cruise reports. See a picture of the participants and read a report on birds observed.
Read the Maurice Ewing daily D-tag cruise reports.
Read the STAG 2003 daily cruise reports from the R/V Gyre.


The final version (31-Jul-2003) of the Survey and Habitat Cruise Report is available as a single 6.5MB pdf file.
The final version (12-Aug-2003) of the STAG 2003 Cruise Report is available as a single 7.0MB pdf file.
The final version (25-Aug-2003) of the DTAG 2003 Cruise Report is available as a single 4.5MB pdf file.
The final version (December-2003) of the SWSS Year 1 Annual Report is available here as a single 13.8MB pdf file.

SSH and SST Images in support of the 2003 SWSS Cruises are on this page.

SWSS 2002 Archives

Cruise participants may find this information useful to prepare for life aboard the R/V Gyre.