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Wiggins, SM, McDonald MA, Munger LM, Moore SE, Hildebrand JA.  2004.  Waveguide propagation allows range estimates for North Pacific right whales in the Bering Sea. Canadian Acoustics. 32:146-154. AbstractWebsite

The shallow and uniform water depth of the eastern Bering Sea shelf results in an acoustic waveguide. Propagation within this waveguide produces waveform dispersion which is dependent upon range. We present a means for using dispersed waveforms to determine range to calling whales from a single autonomous acoustic recording instrument. The predominant North Pacific right whale (Evbalaena japonica) call is frequency upswept from about 90 Hz to around 160 Hz and lasts approximately 1 s. The regional bathymetry of the eastern Bering Sea middle shelf is relatively uniform and shallow ( similar to 70 meters deep). This geometry provides a plane-layered waveguide in which right whale upswept calls can be detected at ranges over 50 km and have multiple modal arrivals that become dispersed, displaying different propagation velocities for different frequencies. Dispersion characteristics of modal arrivals are dependent on the calling whale's depth, the receiver's depth, the water depth, the range from caller to receiver, and various environmental parameters including water and sediment density and sound velocity. A model of sound propagation for the eastern Bering Sea middle shelf is developed from right whale call dispersion recorded on sonobuoys and seafloor acoustic recording packages, using individual calls recorded at multiple instruments. After development of the model, waveform dispersion allows estimation of caller range based on single instrument recordings. Estimating range between instrument and calling whales provides a means to estimate minimum abundance for the endangered North Pacific right whale.Original Abstract: L'eau peu profonde et uniforme de la rive Est de la mer de Bering produit un excellent guide d'ondes acoustiques. Dans ce guide de propagation, la dispersion des ondes sonores est dependante de la distance. Nous presentons ici un moyen pour utiliser la dispersion des ondes sonores pour determiner la portee de sons emis par des baleines a partir d'un unique instrument d'enregistrement du signal acoustique. La vocalisation predominate de la baleine franche du Pacifique Nord (Eubalaena japonica) est une modulation ascendante d'environ 90 a 160 Hz et d'une duree approximative de 1 s. La bathymetrie regionale de la rive Est de la mer de Bering est relativement uniforme et peu profonde ( similar to 70 m de profondeur). Cette geometrie fournit un guide d'ondes a couches horizontales ou les vocalisations modulees de baleines tranches peuvent etre detectees a des distances superieures a 50 km et ont de multiples arrivees modales qui deviennent dispersees, demontrant differente vitesse de propagation a differentes frequences. Les caracteristiques de dispersion des arrivees modales sont dependantes de la profondeur de la baleine, la profondeur du recepteur, la profondeur de l'eau. la distance de l'emetteur et du recepteur et une variete de parametres environnementaux incluant la densite de l'eau et des sediments, et la vitesse du son dans ces deux media. Un modele de la propagation du son pour la rive Est de la mer de Bering est developpe a partir de la dispersion des vocalisations des baleines tranches enregistrees a partir de bouees acoustiques et de systemes acoustiques ancres sur le fond marin, en utilisant les vocalisations individuelles enregistrees a partir de multiples instruments. Apres le developpement du modele, la dispersion de l'onde sonore permet l'estimation de la distance de la vocalisation basee sur l'enregistrement d'un seul instrument. Estimer la distance entre l'instrument et les vocalisations de baleines permet d'estimer l'abondance minimale de la baleine franche menacee d'extinction dans le Pacitique Nord.

Roth, EH, Schmidt V, Hildebrand JA, Wiggins SM.  2013.  Underwater radiated noise levels of a research icebreaker in the central Arctic Ocean. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 133:1971-1980.   10.1121/1.4790356   AbstractWebsite

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy's underwater radiated noise signature was characterized in the central Arctic Ocean during different types of ice-breaking operations. Propulsion modes included transit in variable ice cover, breaking heavy ice with backing-and-ramming maneuvers, and dynamic positioning with the bow thruster in operation. Compared to open-water transit, Healy's noise signature increased approximately 10 dB between 20 Hz and 2 kHz when breaking ice. The highest noise levels resulted while the ship was engaged in backing-and-ramming maneuvers, owing to cavitation when operating the propellers astern or in opposing directions. In frequency bands centered near 10, 50, and 100 Hz, source levels reached 190-200 dB re: 1 mu Pa at 1m (full octave band) during ice-breaking operations. (C) 2013 Acoustical Society of America.

McKenna, MF, Ross D, Wiggins SM, Hildebrand JA.  2012.  Underwater radiated noise from modern commercial ships. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 131:92-103.   10.1121/1.3664100   AbstractWebsite

Underwater radiated noise measurements for seven types of modern commercial ships during normal operating conditions are presented. Calibrated acoustic data (<1000 Hz) from an autonomous seafloor-mounted acoustic recorder were combined with ship passage information from the Automatic Identification System. This approach allowed for detailed measurements (i.e., source level, sound exposure level, and transmission range) on ships of opportunity. A key result was different acoustic levels and spectral shapes observed from different ship-types. A 54 kGT container ship had the highest broadband source level at 188 dB re 1 mu Pa@1m; a 26 kGT chemical tanker had the lowest at 177 dB re 1 mu Pa@1m. Bulk carriers had higher source levels near 100 Hz, while container ship and tanker noise was predominantly below 40 Hz. Simple models to predict source levels of modern merchant ships as a group from particular ship characteristics (e. g., length, gross tonnage, and speed) were not possible given individual ship-type differences. Furthermore, ship noise was observed to radiate asymmetrically. Stern aspect noise levels are 5 to 10 dB higher than bow aspect noise levels. Collectively, these results emphasize the importance of including modern ship-types in quantifying shipping noise for predictive models of global, regional, and local marine environments. (C) 2012 Acoustical Society of America. [DOI: 10.1121/1.3664100]

Roth, EH, Hildebrand JA, Wiggins SM, Ross D.  2012.  Underwater ambient noise on the Chukchi Sea continental slope from 2006-2009. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 131:104-110.   10.1121/1.3664096   AbstractWebsite

From September 2006 to June 2009, an autonomous acoustic recorder measured ambient noise north of Barrow, Alaska on the continental slope at 235 m depth, between the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Mean monthly spectrum levels, selected to exclude impulsive events, show that months with open-water had the highest noise levels (80-83 dB re: 1 mu Pa-2/Hz at 20-50 Hz), months with ice coverage had lower spectral levels (70 dB at 50 Hz), and months with both ice cover and low wind speeds had the lowest noise levels (65 dB at 50 Hz). During ice covered periods in winter-spring there was significant transient energy between 10 and 100 Hz from ice fracture events. During ice covered periods in late spring there were significantly fewer transient events. Ambient noise increased with wind speed by similar to 1 dB/m/s for relatively open-water (0%-25% ice cover) and by similar to 0.5 dB/m/s for nearly complete ice cover (> 75%). In September and early October for all years, mean noise levels were elevated by 2-8 dB due to the presence of seismic surveys in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. (C) 2012 Acoustical Society of America. [DOI: 10.1121/1.3664096]

Wiggins, SM, Frasier KE, Henderson EE, Hildebrand JA.  2013.  Tracking dolphin whistles using an autonomous acoustic recorder array. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 133:3813-3818.: ASA   AbstractWebsite

Dolphins are known to produce nearly omnidirectional whistles that can propagate several kilometers, allowing these sounds to be localized and tracked using acoustic arrays. During the fall of 2007, a km-scale array of four autonomous acoustic recorders was deployed offshore of southern California in a known dolphin habitat at ∼800 m depth. Concurrently with the one-month recording, a fixed-point marine mammal visual survey was conducted from a moored research platform in the center of the array, providing daytime species and behavior visual confirmation. The recordings showed three main types of dolphin acoustic activity during distinct times: primarily whistling during daytime, whistling and clicking during early night, and primarily clicking during late night. Tracks from periods of daytime whistling typically were tightly grouped and traveled at a moderate rate. In one example with visual observations, traveling common dolphins (Delphinus sp.) were tracked for about 10 km with an average speed of ∼2.5 m s−1 (9 km h−1). Early night recordings had whistle localizations with wider spatial distribution and slower travel speed than daytime recordings, presumably associated with foraging behavior. Localization and tracking of dolphins over long periods has the potential to provide insight into their ecology, behavior, and potential response to stimuli.

Wiggins, SM, Dorman LM, Cornuelle BD.  1997.  Topography can affect linearization in tomographic inversions. Geophysics. 62:1797-1803.   10.1190/1.1444280   AbstractWebsite

Linearized inverse techniques commonly are used to solve for velocity models from traveltime data. The amount that a model may change without producing large, nonlinear changes in the predicted traveltime data is dependent on the surface topography and parameterization. Simple, one-layer, laterally homogeneous, constant-gradient models are used to study analytically and empirically the effect of topography and parameterization on the linearity of the model-data relationship. If, in a weak-velocity-gradient model, rays turn beneath a valley with topography similar to the radius of curvature of the raypaths, then large nonlinearities will result from small model perturbations. Hills, conversely, create environments in which the data are more nearly linearly related to models with the same model perturbations.

Gassmann, M, Wiggins SM, Hildebrand JA.  2015.  Three-dimensional tracking of Cuvier's beaked whales' echolocation sounds using nested hydrophone arrays. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 138:2483-2494.   10.1121/1.4927417   AbstractWebsite

Cuvier's beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) were tracked using two volumetric small-aperture (similar to 1 m element spacing) hydrophone arrays, embedded into a large-aperture (similar to 1 km element spacing) seafloor hydrophone array of five nodes. This array design can reduce the minimum number of nodes that are needed to record the arrival of a strongly directional echolocation sound from 5 to 2, while providing enough time-differences of arrivals for a three-dimensional localization without depending on any additional information such as multipath arrivals. To illustrate the capabilities of this technique, six encounters of up to three Cuvier's beaked whales were tracked over a two-month recording period within an area of 20 km(2) in the Southern California Bight. Encounter periods ranged from 11 min to 33 min. Cuvier's beaked whales were found to reduce the time interval between echolocation clicks while alternating between two inter-click-interval regimes during their descent towards the seafloor. Maximum peak-to-peak source levels of 179 and 224 dB re 1 mu Pa @ 1 m were estimated for buzz sounds and on-axis echolocation clicks (directivity index = 30 dB), respectively. Source energy spectra of the on-axis clicks show significant frequency components between 70 and 90 kHz, in addition to their typically noted FM upsweep at 40-60 kHz. (C) 2015 Acoustical Society of America.

Sirovic, A, Williams LN, Kerosky SM, Wiggins SM, Hildebrand JA.  2012.  Temporal separation of two fin whale call types across the eastern North Pacific. Marine Biology. 160:47-57.   10.1007/s00227-012-2061-z   AbstractWebsite

Fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) produce a variety of low-frequency, short-duration, frequency-modulated calls. The differences in temporal patterns between two fin whale call types are described from long-term passive acoustic data collected intermittently between 2005 and 2011 at three locations across the eastern North Pacific: the Bering Sea, off Southern California, and in Canal de Ballenas in the northern Gulf of California. Fin whale calls were detected at all sites year-round, during all periods with recordings. At all three locations, 40-Hz calls peaked in June, preceding a peak in 20-Hz calls by 3-5 months. Monitoring both call types may provide a more accurate insight into the seasonal presence of fin whales across the eastern North Pacific than can be obtained from a single call type. The 40-Hz call may be associated with a foraging function, and temporal separation between 40- and 20-Hz calls may indicate the separation between predominately feeding behavior and other social interactions.

Oleson, EM, Wiggins SM, Hildebrand JA.  2007.  Temporal separation of blue whale call types on a southern California feeding ground. Animal Behaviour. 74:881-894.   10.1016/j.anbehav.2007.01.022   AbstractWebsite

Northeast Pacific blue whales, Balaenoptera musculus, migrate annually between productive summer feeding grounds off North America and tropical winter breeding grounds off Central America. These migratory movements have been confirmed through acoustic monitoring of the long-duration, low-frequency sounds produced by males (type B calls). However, other calls in the species' repertoire might prove a better proxy for the migratory and foraging behaviour of the population as a whole. To explore the seasonal and daily calling behaviour of this population, we evaluated the occurrence of three blue whale call types (song B, singular B and D) recorded between 2000 and 2004 at Cortez and Tanner Banks, a summer feeding area offshore of southern California. We recorded a significant temporal separation among the type B and D calls, both seasonally and daily, suggesting preferred use of certain call types during different behavioural states. A consistent seasonal pattern was evident, with D calling from April to November and song and singular B calling from June to January. In addition, D calls were heard primarily from dawn through to dusk, in contrast to the crepuscular pattern of song, suggesting that the production of D calls is related to feeding behaviour, which occurs primarily during the day on aggregated krill at depth. An increase in the length of the overall calling season was also observed from 2000 to 2004 and may be related to increased prey availability in the Southern California Bight relative to more southerly feeding areas.

Johnston, DW, McDonald M, Polovina J, Domokos R, Wiggins S, Hildebrand J.  2008.  Temporal patterns in the acoustic signals of beaked whales at Cross Seamount. Biology Letters. 4:208-211.   10.1098/rsbl.2007.0614   AbstractWebsite

Seamounts may influence the distribution of marine mammals through a combination of increased ocean mixing, enhanced local productivity and greater prey availability. To study the effects of seamounts on the presence and acoustic behaviour of cetaceans, we deployed a high-frequency acoustic recording package on the summit of Cross Seamount during April through October 2005. The most frequently detected cetacean vocalizations were echolocation sounds similar to those produced by ziphiid and mesoplodont beaked whales together with buzz-type signals consistent with prey-capture attempts. Beaked whale signals occurred almost entirely at night throughout the six-month deployment. Measurements of prey presence with a Simrad EK-60 fisheries acoustics echo sounder indicate that Cross Seamount may enhance local productivity in near-surface waters. Concentrations of micronekton were aggregated over the seamount in near-surface waters at night, and dense concentrations of nekton were detected across the surface of the summit. Our results suggest that seamounts may provide enhanced foraging opportunities for beaked whales during the night through a combination of increased productivity, vertical migrations by micronekton and local retention of prey. Furthermore, the summit of the seamount may act as a barrier against which whales concentrate prey.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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, Katz SL, Wiggins SM, Ross D, Hildebrand JA.  2012.  A quieting ocean: Unintended consequence of a fluctuating economy. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 132:EL169-EL175.   10.1121/1.4740225   AbstractWebsite

Simultaneous long-term monitoring of underwater sound and ship traffic provided an opportunity to study how low-frequency noise correlated with ocean-based commercial shipping trends. Between 2007 and 2010 changes in regional shipping off southern California occurred as a consequence of economic and regulatory events. Underwater average noise levels measured before and during these events showed a net reduction of 12 dB. Statistical models revealed that a reduction of 1 ship transit per day resulted in 1 dB decrease in average noise. This synthesis of maritime traffic statistics with ocean noise monitoring provides an important step in understanding the magnitude and potential effects of chronic noise in marine habitats. (C) 2012 Acoustical Society of America

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.