Acoustic characterization of sensors used for marine environmental monitoring

Emma Cotter* (Corresponding Author), Paul Murphy, Christopher Bassett, Benjamin Williamson, Brian Polagye

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Active acoustic sensors are widely used in oceanographic and environmental studies. Although many have nominal operating frequencies above the range of marine mammal hearing, they can produce out-of-band sound that may be audible to marine mammals. Acoustic emissions from four active acoustic transducers were characterized and compared to marine mammal hearing thresholds. All four transducers had nominal operating frequencies above the reported upper limit of marine mammal hearing, but produced measurable sound below 160 kHz. A spatial map of the acoustic emissions of each sonar is used to evaluate potential effects on marine mammal hearing when the transducer is continuously operated from a stationary platform. Based on the cumulative sound exposure level metric, the acoustic emissions from the transducers are unlikely to cause temporary threshold shifts in marine mammals, but could affect animal behavior. The extent of audibility is estimated to be, at most, on the order of 100 m.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-215
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume144
Early online date16 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

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Keywords

  • Active acoustic transducers
  • Marine mammal hearing
  • Marine mammal monitoring
  • Underwater acoustics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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