Publications

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2013
Baumann-Pickering, S, M. Yack T, Barlow J, Wiggins SM, Hildebrand JA.  2013.  Baird's beaked whale echolocation signals. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 133:4321-4331.   10.1121/1.4804316   AbstractWebsite

Echolocation signals from Baird's beaked whales were recorded during visual and acoustic shipboard surveys of cetaceans in the California Current ecosystem and with autonomous, long-term recorders in the Southern California Bight. The preliminary measurement of the visually validated Baird's beaked whale echolocation signals from towed array data were used as a basis for identifying Baird's signals in the autonomous recorder data. Two distinct signal types were found, one being a beaked whale-like frequency modulated (FM) pulse, the other being a dolphin-like broadband click. The median FM inter-pulse interval was 230 ms. Both signal types showed a consistent multi-peak structure in their spectra with peaks at ∼9, 16, 25, and 40 kHz. Depending on signal type, as well as recording aspect and distance to the hydrophone, these peaks varied in relative amplitude. The description of Baird's echolocation signals will allow for studies of their distribution and abundance using towed array data without associated visual sightings and from autonomous seafloor hydrophones.

2012
Wiggins, SM, McDonald MA, Hildebrand JA.  2012.  Beaked whale and dolphin tracking using a multichannel autonomous acoustic recorder. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 131:156-163.   10.1121/1.3662076   AbstractWebsite

To track highly directional echolocation clicks from odontocetes, passive hydrophone arrays with small apertures can be used to receive the same high frequency click on each sensor. A four-hydrophone small-aperture array was coupled to an autonomous acoustic recorder and used for long-term tracking of high-frequency odontocete sounds. The instrument was deployed in the spring of 2009 offshore of southern California in a known beaked whale and dolphin habitat at about 1000 m depth. The array was configured as a tetrahedron with approximately 0.5 m sensor spacing. Time difference of arrival measurements between the six sensor-pairs were used to estimate three-dimensional bearings to sources. Both near-seafloor beaked whales and near-sea surface dolphins were tracked. The tracks observed using this technique provide swimming and diving behavioral information for free-ranging animals using a single instrument. Furthermore, animal detection ranges were derived, allowing for estimation of detection probability functions. (C) 2012 Acoustical Society of America. [DOI: 10.1121/1.3662076]

2005
Munger, LM, Mellinger DK, Wiggins SM, Moore SE, Hildebrand JA.  2005.  Performance of spectrogram cross-correlation in detecting right whale calls in long-term recordings from the Bering Sea. Canadian Acoustics. 33:25-34. AbstractWebsite

We investigated the performance of spectrogram cross-correlation for automatically detecting North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonica) calls in long-term acoustic recordings from the southeastern Bering Sea. Data were sampled by autonomous, bottom-mounted hydrophones deployed in the southeastern Bering Sea from October 2000 through August 2002. A human analyst detected right whale calls within the first month (October 2000) of recorded data by visually examining spectrograms and by listening to recorded data; these manual detections were then compared to results of automated detection trials. Automated detection by spectrogram cross-correlation was implemented using a synthetic kernel based on the most common right whale call type. To optimize automated detection parameters, the analyst performed multiple trials on minutes-long and hour-long recordings and manually adjusted detection parameters between trials. A single set of optimized detection parameters was used to process a week-long recording from October 2000. The automated detector trials resulted in increasing proportions of false and missed detections with increasing data set duration, due to the higher proportion of acoustic noise and lower overall call rates in longer recordings. However, the automated detector missed only one calling "bout" (2 or more calls within a 10-minute span) of the 18 bouts present in the week-long recording. Despite the high number of false detections and missed individual calls, spectrogram cross-correlation was useful to guide a human analyst to sections of data with potential right whale calling bouts. Upon reviewing automatic detection events, the analyst could quickly dismiss false detections and search recordings before and after correct detections to find missed calls, thus improving the efficiency of searching for a small number of calls in long-term (months- to years-long) recordings.