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The goal of the CHAOZ extension study (CHAOZ-X) is to understand the mechanisms responsible for the high biological activity around Hanna Shoal in order to qualitatively predict the effects of climate change in this area. Using oceanographic, lower trophic level, and passive acoustic sampling and moorings, we will explore the relationships between bifurcating currents passing down from the Hanna Shoal area and resources delivered to the Barrow Arch and Peard Bay areas. Of particular interest is the dynamic nature of those relationships relative to whale distribution and habitat utilization in the northeastern Chukchi and extreme western Beaufort Seas. Passive acoustics will also be used to collect baseline data on Chukchi Sea noise to enable informed decisions regarding the impacts and influences of industrial activities in the Chukchi Sea acoustic ecosystem. These measurements will complement the biological, oceanographic, and contaminant data collected by the BOEM-funded Hanna Shoal Ecosystem Study (Dunton et al.). CHAOZ-X is a collaborative effort between MML, the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL), the Resource Assessment and Conservation Engineering Division (RACE) at AFSC, and Cornell University; funded through an Inter-Agency agreement between MML and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

Contracted Reports

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