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Bauer, R. K., Forget, F., & Fromentin, J. - M. (2015). Optimizing PAT data transmission: assessing the accuracy of temperature summary data to estimate environmental conditions. Fish Oceanogr., 24(6), 533–539.
Résumé: Pop-up archival tags (PAT) provide summary and high-resolution time series data at predefined temporal intervals. The limited battery capabilities of PATs often restrict the transmission success and thus temporal coverage of both data products. While summary data are usually less affected by this problem, as a result of its lower size, it might be less informative. We here investigate the accuracy and feasibility of using temperature at depth summary data provided by PATs to describe encountered oceanographic conditions. Interpolated temperature at depth summary data was found to provide accurate estimates of three major thermal water column structure indicators: thermocline depth, stratification and ocean heat content. Such indicators are useful for the interpretation of the tagged animal's horizontal and vertical behaviour. The accuracy of these indicators was found to be particularly sensitive to the number of data points available in the first 100m, which in turn depends on the vertical behaviour of the tagged animal. Based on our results, we recommend the use of temperature at depth summary data as opposed to temperature time series data for PAT studies; doing so during the tag programming will help to maximize the amount of transmitted time series data for other key data types such as light levels and depth.