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Characterization and Modeling of Plumes and Animal Plume-Tracing in Wave-Influenced Coastal Environments
Final rept. 1 Jul 1998-30 Jun 2001
STANFORD UNIV CA DEPT OF CIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
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This study focused on understanding how peripheral and central encoding of chemical detection signals are accomplished, and determining which spatial and temporal properties of chemical plumes are of most importance to plume-tracing animals. Laboratory experiments were performed to examine the odor-tracing behavior of the stomatopod H. ensigera in unidirectional and wave-influenced flow environments, and correlated tracing maneuvers with the simultaneously-recorded characteristics of the odor plume at the position of the animals olfactory antennules. We also performed a combination field data collectionmodeling research program to characterize the dynamics of a plume from a near-bed source in near-coastal waters. It was found that odor plumes in both unidirectional and wave-affected flow consist of very thin filaments of high concentration interspersed with clean water, but odor filaments encountered by the antennules have both a higher maximum odor concentration and a higher mean odor concentration in wave-affected flows. This is the first recording of the exact chemical information an animal is getting as it navigates to a source in a realistic flow environment. The field experiments revealed that the plumes vertical extent is entirely determined by the source height and the thickness of the near bottom mixed layer, which is set by the local stratification.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE