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Hildebrand, JA, Wiggins SM, Driver JL, Waters MR.  2007.  Rapid seismic reflection imaging at the Clovis period Gault site in central Texas. Archaeological Prospection. 14:245-260.   10.1002/arp.309   AbstractWebsite

Using a modified seismic reflection imaging system with rapid translation of receivers, stratigraphic profiles were collected at the Gault site in central Texas. For rapid data collection, spikeless geophone receivers were placed in sand-filled bags at tight spacing, and these receivers were rapidly pulled along the ground surface between shots. Shots were produced by a small hammer strike to a vertical pipe at 20-cm intervals. High quality ultrashallow seismic reflection profiles were collected at a rate of 25 m h(-1), significantly faster than what is possible with conventional seismic reflection imaging using individually planted geophones. Ground-penetrating radar was attempted, but abandoned owing to the poor penetration of the radar signals in the clay soils present at the Gault site. Electromagnetic induction grids were collected surrounding each seismic reflection profile, and provided information on near-surface ground water. Seismic reflection images of Gault site stratigraphy provided greater depth penetration than accessible from backhoe trenching and coring, and helped to better outline the site geological context. Seismic images reveal coherent reflections at shallow depths (0-2.5 m), and extensive scattering at deeper levels (2.5-8 m), underlain by reflection-free zones. These data are interpreted as clay and gravel layers overlaying palaeostream channels carved into the limestone bedrock. Where comparative data were available, the geophysical findings were corroborated by observations of site stratigraphy in archaeological excavation units, backhoe trenches and cores. Seismic reflection studies at the Gault site revealed a palaeochannel filled with pre-Clovis age sediments. Pre-Clovis age sediments are not known to occur at other locations within the Gault site. They provide a unique opportunity to test for cultural remains of great antiquity. Copyright (C) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

McKenna, MF, Wiggins SM, Hildebrand JA.  2013.  Relationship between container ship underwater noise levels and ship design, operational and oceanographic conditions. Scientific Reports. 3   10.1038/srep01760   AbstractWebsite

Low-frequency ocean ambient noise is dominated by noise from commercial ships, yet understanding how individual ships contribute deserves further investigation. This study develops and evaluates statistical models of container ship noise in relation to design characteristics, operational conditions, and oceanographic settings. Five-hundred ship passages and nineteen covariates were used to build generalized additive models. Opportunistic acoustic measurements of ships transiting offshore California were collected using seafloor acoustic recorders. A 5-10 dB range in broadband source level was found for ships depending on the transit conditions. For a ship recorded multiple times traveling at different speeds, cumulative noise was lowest at 8 knots, 65% reduction in operational speed. Models with highest predictive power, in order of selection, included ship speed, size, and time of year. Uncertainty in source depth and propagation affected model fit. These results provide insight on the conditions that produce higher levels of underwater noise from container ships.

Jones, JM, Thayre BJ, Roth EH, Mahoney M, Sia I, Merculief K, Jackson C, Zeller C, Clare M, Bacon A, Weaver S, Gentes Z, Small RJ, Stirling I, Wiggins SM, Hildebrand JA.  2014.  Ringed, bearded, and ribbon seal vocalizations north of Barrow, Alaska: Seasonal presence and relationship with sea ice. Arctic. 67:203-222. AbstractWebsite

The acoustic repertoires of ringed, bearded, and ribbon seals are described, along with their seasonal occurrence and relationship to sea ice concentration. Acoustic recordings were made between September and June over three years (2006-09) along the continental slope break in the Chukchi Sea, 120 km north-northwest of Barrow, Alaska. Vocalizations of ringed and bearded seals occurred in winter and during periods of 80%-100% ice cover but were mostly absent during open water periods. The presence of ringed and bearded seal calls throughout winter and spring suggests that some portion of their population is overwintering. Analysis of the repertoire of ringed and bearded seal calls shows seasonal variation. Ringed seal calls are primarily barks in winter and yelps in spring, while bearded seal moans increase during spring. Ribbon seal calls were detected only in the fall of 2008 during the open water period. The repertoire of known ribbon seal vocalizations was expanded to include three additional calls, and two stereotyped call sequences were common. Retrospective analyses of ringed seal recordings from 1982 and ribbon seal recordings from 1967 showed a high degree of stability in call repertoire across large spatial and temporal scales.

Soldevilla, MS, Wiggins SM, Hildebrand JA, Oleson EM, Ferguson MC.  2011.  Risso's and Pacific white-sided dolphin habitat modeling from passive acoustic monitoring. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 423:247-267.   10.3354/meps08927   AbstractWebsite

Habitat characterization allows prediction of dolphin distributions in response to oceanographic processes and can be used to understand and predict effects of anthropogenic disturbances. Many habitat models focus on contemporary dolphin occurrence and environmental predictor data, but time-lagged oceanographic data may increase a model's predictive power due to ecological successional processes. Using hourly occurrence of Risso's dolphin Grampus griseus clicks and 2 types of Pacific white-sided dolphin Lagenorhynchus obliquidens clicks in autonomous passive acoustic recordings, we investigate the importance of time-lagged predictor variables with generalized additive models. These models relate dolphin acoustic activity from recordings at 6 sites in the Southern California Bight between August 2005 and December 2007 to oceanographic variables including sea surface temperature (SST), SST coefficient of variation (CV), sea surface chlorophyll concentration (chl), chl CV, upwelling indices, and solar and lunar temporal indices. The most consistently selected variables among the trial models evaluated during cross-validation were SST (100% of models) and SST CV (80%) for Risso's dolphin clicks; solar indices (100%) and SST and SST CV (60% each) for Pacific white-sided type A (PWS A) clicks; and SST CV (100%), solar indices (100%) and SST (80%) for Pacific white-sided type B (PWS B) clicks. Best predictive models for Risso's dolphins and PWS A clicks included time-lagged variables, suggesting the importance of ecological succession between abiotic variables and dolphin occurrence, while best models of PWS B clicks were for current conditions, suggesting association with prey-aggregating features such as fronts and eddies.