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Sirovic, A, Hildebrand JA, Wiggins SM, McDonald MA, Moore SE, Thiele D.  2004.  Seasonality of blue and fin whale calls and the influence of sea ice in the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Deep-Sea Research Part Ii-Topical Studies in Oceanography. 51:2327-2344.   10.1016/j.dsr2.2004.08.005   AbstractWebsite

The calling seasonality of blue (Balaenoptera musculus) and fin (B. physalus) whales was assessed using acoustic data recorded on seven autonomous acoustic recording packages (ARPs) deployed from March 2001 to February 2003 in the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Automatic detection and acoustic power analysis methods were used for determining presence and absence of whale calls. Blue whale calls were detected year round, on average 177 days per year, with peak calling in March and April, and a secondary peak in October and November. Lowest calling rates occurred between June and September, and in December. Fin whale calling rates were seasonal with calls detected between February and June (on average 51 days/year), and peak calling in May. Sea ice formed a month later and retreated a month earlier in 2001 than in 2002 over all recording sites. During the entire deployment period, detected calls of both species of whales showed negative correlation with sea ice concentrations at all sites, suggesting an absence of blue and fin whales in areas covered with sea ice. A conservative density estimate of calling whales from the acoustic data yields 0.43 calling blue whales per 1000 n mi(2) and 1.30 calling fin whales per 1000 n mi(2), which is about one-third higher than the density of blue whales and approximately equal to the density of fin whales estimated from the visual surveys. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

McDonald, MA, Hildebrand JA, Wiggins SM, Thiele D, Glasgow D, Moore SE.  2005.  Sei whale sounds recorded in the Antarctic. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 118:3941-3945.   10.1121/1.2130944   AbstractWebsite

Sei whales are the least well known acoustically of all the rorquals, with only two brief descriptions of their calls previously reported. Recordings of low-frequency tonal and frequency swept calls were made near a group of four or five sei whales in waters west of the Antarctic Peninsula on 19 February 2003. These whales also produced broadband sounds which can be described as growls or whooshes. Many of the tonal and frequency swept calls (30 out of 68) consist of multiple parts with a frequency step between the two parts, this being the most unique characteristic of the calls, allowing them to be distinguished from the calls of other whale species. The average duration of the tonal calls is 0.45 +/- 0.3 s and the average frequency is 433 +/- 192 Hz. Using a calibrated seafloor recorder to determine the absolute calibration of a sonobuoy system, the maximum source level of the tonal calls was 156 +/- 3.6 dB re 1 microPa at 1 m. Each call had different character and there was no temporal pattern in the calling.

Keen, KA, Thayre BJ, Hildebrand JA, Wiggins SM.  2018.  Seismic airgun sound propagation in Arctic Ocean waveguides. Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers. 141:24-32.   10.1016/j.dsr.2018.09.003   AbstractWebsite

Underwater recordings of seismic airgun surveys in the deep-water Beaufort Sea and on the shallow-water Chukchi Sea shelf were made from sites on the continental slope and shelf break north-northwest of Point Barrow, Alaska. Airgun pulses from the deep-water survey were recorded more than 500 km away, and from the shallow-water survey up to similar to 100 km. In the deep-water, received sound pressure levels show spherical spreading propagation; whereas, sound exposure levels exhibit cylindrical spreading propagation. Over the shallow-water shelf, transmission losses were much greater than spherical spreading, due to energy loss in the seafloor. Understanding how sound propagates across large spatial scales in the Arctic Ocean is important for better management and mitigation of anthropogenic noise pollution in marine soundscapes, especially as diminished ice in the Arctic Ocean allows for longer range sound propagation.

Sirovic, A, Rice A, Chou E, Hildebrand JA, Wiggins SM, Roch MA.  2015.  Seven years of blue and fin whale call abundance in the Southern California Bight. Endangered Species Research. 28:61-76.   10.3354/esr00676   AbstractWebsite

Blue whales Balaenoptera musculus and fin whales B. physalus are common inhabitants of the Southern California Bight (SCB), but little is known about the spatial and temporal variability of their use of this area. To study their distribution in the SCB, high-frequency acoustic recording packages were intermittently deployed at 16 locations across the SCB from 2006 to 2012. Presence of blue whale B calls and fin whale 20 Hz calls was determined using 2 types of automatic detection methods, i.e. spectrogram correlation and acoustic energy detection, respectively. Blue whale B calls were generally detected between June and January, with a peak in September, with an overall total of over 3 million detections. Fin whale 20 Hz calls, measured via the fin whale call index, were present year-round, with the highest values between September and December, with a peak in November. Blue whale calls were more common at coastal sites and near the northern Channel Islands, while the fin whale call index was highest in the central and southern areas of the SCB, indicating a possible difference in habitat preferences of the 2 species in this area. Across years, a peak in blue whale call detections occurred in 2008, with minima in 2006 and 2007, but there was no long-term trend. There was an increase in the fin whale call index during this period. These trends are consistent with visual survey estimates for both species in Southern California, providing evidence that passive acoustics can be a powerful tool to monitor population trends for these endangered species.

Krysl, P, Cranford TW, Wiggins SM, Hildebrand JA.  2006.  Simulating the effect of high-intensity sound on cetaceans: Modeling, approach and a case study for Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris). Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 120:2328-2339.   10.1121/1.2257988   AbstractWebsite

A finite element model is formulated to study the steady-state vibration response of the anatomy of a whale (Cetacea) submerged in seawater. The anatomy was reconstructed from a combination of two-dimensional (2D) computed tomography (CT) scan images, identification of Hounsfield units with tissue types, and mapping of mechanical properties. A partial differential equation model describes the motion of the tissues within a Lagrangean framework. The computational model was applied to the study of the response of the tissues within the head of a neonate Cuvier's beaked whale Ziphius cavirostris. The characteristics of the sound stimulus was a continuous wave excitation at 3500 Hz and 180 dB re: 1 mu Pa received level, incident as a plane wave. We model the beaked whale tissues embedded within a volume of seawater. To account for the finite dimensions of the computational volume, we increased the damping for viscous shear stresses within the water volume, in an attempt to reduce the contribution of waves reflected from the boundaries of the computational box. The mechanical response of the tissues was simulated including: strain amplitude; dissipated power; and pressure. The tissues are not likely to suffer direct mechanical or thermal damage, within the range of parameters tested. (c) 2006 Acoustical Society of America.

Soldevilla, MS, Wiggins SM, Hildebrand JA.  2010.  Spatial and temporal patterns of Risso's dolphin echolocation in the Southern California Bight. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 127:124-32.   10.1121/1.3257586   AbstractWebsite

Geographical and temporal trends in echolocation clicking activity can lead to insights into the foraging and migratory behaviors of pelagic dolphins. Using autonomous acoustic recording packages, the geographical, diel, and seasonal patterns of Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) echolocation click activity are described for six locations in the Southern California Bight between 2005 and 2007. Risso's dolphin echolocation click bouts are identified based on their unique spectral characteristics. Click bouts were identified on 739 of 1959 recording days at all 6 sites, with the majority occurring at nearshore sites. A significant diel pattern is evident in which both hourly occurrences of click bouts and click rates are higher at night than during the day. At all nearshore sites, Risso's dolphin clicks were identified year-round, with the highest daily occurrence at the southern end of Santa Catalina Island. Seasonal and interannual variabilities in occurrence were high across sites with peak occurrence in autumn of most years at most sites. These results suggest that Risso's dolphins forage at night and that the southern end of Santa Catalina Island represents an important habitat for Risso's dolphins throughout the year.

Soldevilla, MS, Wiggins SM, Hildebrand JA.  2010.  Spatio-temporal comparison of Pacific white-sided dolphin echolocation click types. Aquatic Biology. 9:49-62.   10.3354/ab00224   AbstractWebsite

A comparison of temporal and geographical trends in different echolocation click types produced by Pacific white-sided dolphin Lagenorhynchus obliquidens can lead to insights into the significance of their usage by the dolphins. Using autonomous seafloor recording packages, the spatial, diel and seasonal patterns of Pacific white-sided dolphin echolocation click activity are described for 6 locations in the Southern California Bight. Click bouts of the 2 types of Pacific white-sided dolphin echolocation clicks are identified based on their unique spectral characteristics in long-term spectral averages. Type A clicks were detected on 317 of 1959 recording days and were heard at all 6 sites, with the majority of detections occurring at San Clemente Island and Point Conception. Type B clicks were detected on 130 recording days and were only heard at the 2 southern inshore sites. Significant diel patterns were evident for both click types: Type A click bouts were detected during more hours and with higher click rates at night than during the day, while Type B click bouts exhibited the opposite behavior, with greater activity during the day. At the southern sites, both click types exhibited a fall-winter peak in seasonal occurrence. At Point Conception, where only Type A was detected, peak occurrence was during spring. The described spatial and seasonal patterns support the hypothesis that click types are population-specific, while diel patterns suggest differences in prey preferences.

Baumann-Pickering, S, Roch MA, Brownell RL, Simonis AE, McDonald MA, Solsona-Berga A, Oleson EM, Wiggins SM, Hildebrand JA.  2014.  Spatio-temporal patterns of beaked whale echolocation signals in the North Pacific. Plos One. 9   10.1371/journal.pone.0086072   AbstractWebsite

At least ten species of beaked whales inhabit the North Pacific, but little is known about their abundance, ecology, and behavior, as they are elusive and difficult to distinguish visually at sea. Six of these species produce known species-specific frequency modulated (FM) echolocation pulses: Baird's, Blainville's, Cuvier's, Deraniyagala's, Longman's, and Stejneger's beaked whales. Additionally, one described FM pulse (BWC) from Cross Seamount, Hawai'i, and three unknown FM pulse types (BW40, BW43, BW70) have been identified from almost 11 cumulative years of autonomous recordings at 24 sites throughout the North Pacific. Most sites had a dominant FM pulse type with other types being either absent or limited. There was not a strong seasonal influence on the occurrence of these signals at any site, but longer time series may reveal smaller, consistent fluctuations. Only the species producing BWC signals, detected throughout the Pacific Islands region, consistently showed a diel cycle with nocturnal foraging. By comparing stranding and sighting information with acoustic findings, we hypothesize that BWC signals are produced by ginkgo-toothed beaked whales. BW43 signal encounters were restricted to Southern California and may be produced by Perrin's beaked whale, known only from Californian waters. BW70 signals were detected in the southern Gulf of California, which is prime habitat for Pygmy beaked whales. Hubb's beaked whale may have produced the BW40 signals encountered off central and southern California; however, these signals were also recorded off Pearl and Hermes Reef and Wake Atoll, which are well south of their known range.

Baumann-Pickering, S, McDonald MA, Simonis AE, Berga AS, Merkens KPB, Oleson EM, Roch MA, Wiggins SM, Rankin S, Yack TM, Hildebrand JA.  2013.  Species-specific beaked whale echolocation signals. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 134:2293-2301. AbstractWebsite

Beaked whale echolocation signals are mostly frequency-modulated (FM) upsweep pulses and appear to be species specific. Evolutionary processes of niche separation may have driven differentiation of beaked whale signals used for spatial orientation and foraging. FM pulses of eight species of beaked whales were identified, as well as five distinct pulse types of unknown species, but presumed to be from beaked whales. Current evidence suggests these five distinct but unidentified FM pulse types are also species-specific and are each produced by a separate species. There may be a relationship between adult body length and center frequency with smaller whales producing higher frequency signals. This could be due to anatomical and physiological restraints or it could be an evolutionary adaption for detection of smaller prey for smaller whales with higher resolution using higher frequencies. The disadvantage of higher frequencies is a shorter detection range. Whales echolocating with the highest frequencies, or broadband, likely lower source level signals also use a higher repetition rate, which might compensate for the shorter detection range. Habitat modeling with acoustic detections should give further insights into how niches and prey may have shaped species-specific FM pulse types.