[MARMAM] Comments on recent pilot whale strandings on eastern coast of Canada

David Williams david at deafwhale.com
Mon Jan 4 19:14:10 PST 2010

Further pilot whale strandings - eastern coast of CanadaPilot whales stranded recently at the southwest tip of Nova Scotia, about 50 miles north of Cape Sable Island near Port Maitland.



Using the SEAQUAKE THEORY as a basis to explain this mass stranding, I did an earthquake search and found 4 suspicious earthquakes epicenter along the Reykjanes Ridge about 850 miles south of Reykjavik, Iceland and ~50 miles north of Minia Seamount.  These four shallow events occurred one after the other over a period of one hour.  The number of seismic stations reporting 2nd event in this swarm was 277.  This leads me to believe the event was stronger than 5.3 (closer to mag. 6 Mb).

I often find suspicious swarms as the likely cause of injury in deep diving whales.  My guess is that the first event cause slight injury and makes the pod vulnerable to a second and third event. 

I believe quakes in this stretch of the ridge axis are volcanic/tectonic in nature and far more likely to generate dangerous vertical traveling pressure waves in the water column.

The epicenter was located ~2,100 miles upstream from the stranding beach.  This was likely a larger pod that got separated at sea by a storm--many smaller groups went ashore over a period of 7-8 days rather than one large mass stranding.

This was also the same event suspected as the cause of an anomalous increase in the strandings of pelagic dolphin on Cape Cod starting on December 15.  These animals also went ashore in small groups indicating that the same storm might have separated them also.

Dave Williams        


Your search parameters are:
  a.. catalog=ANSS 
  b.. start_time=2009/11/10,00:00:00 
  c.. end_time=2009/12/10,00:00:00 
  d.. minimum_latitude=45 
  e.. maximum_latitude=65 
  f.. minimum_longitude=-53 
  g.. maximum_longitude=-18 
  h.. minimum_magnitude=1 
  i.. maximum_magnitude=8 
  j.. minimum_depth=0 
  k.. maximum_depth=15 
  l.. event_type=A 
Date       Time             Lat       Lon  Depth   Mag Magt  Nst Gap  Clo  RMS  SRC   Event ID
2009/11/15 12:59:58.31  53.8680  -35.1170  10.00  4.90   Mb  166          0.87  NEI 200911151020
2009/11/15 13:10:58.48  53.8500  -35.1820  10.00  5.30   Mb  277          0.91  NEI 200911151021
2009/11/15 13:52:31.57  53.8290  -35.1480  10.00  5.00   Mb   52          0.92  NEI 200911151023
2009/11/15 13:58:05.63  53.8280  -35.1000  10.00  5.20   Mb   95          1.13  NEI 200911151025
2009/11/22 02:38:37.98  56.6280  -34.4610  10.00  4.80   Mb  114          1.06  NEI 200911221008
2009/11/24 21:50:24.10  59.2000  -30.5160  10.00  4.50   Mb   26          0.87  NEI 200911241034
2009/12/09 12:13:26.53  49.5650  -28.6000  10.00  4.90   Mb  136          0.59  NEI 200912091012
----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Landry, Melissa 
  To: marmam at lists.uvic.ca 
  Sent: Monday, January 04, 2010 10:28 PM
  Subject: [MARMAM] Further pilot whale strandings - eastern coast of Canada

  Pilot whales were stranding on the eastern coast of Canada over the days of December 22-24th, 2009: 



  Melissa S Landry, MMM 
  Species at Risk - Resource Management (NCR) / 
  Espèces en Péril -  Gestion des Ressources (RCN) 
  Fisheries and Oceans Canada / Pêches et Océans Canada 
  200 Kent Street, Ottawa (ON) | 200 rue Kent, Ottawa (ON) K1A 0E6 
  Melissa.S.Landry at dfo-mpo.gc.ca 
  Government of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada 

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