Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Devices Tease Out Individual Sounds From Underwater Racket

Date:
February 27, 2006
Source:
University of Washington
Summary:
While biologists sort out what levels of noise go unnoticed, are annoying or cause harm to marine mammals, physical oceanographer Jeff Nystuen is giving scientists and managers a way to sift through and identify the sounds present in various marine ecosystems. Knowing what sound is already there is needed when trying to establish noise regulations.

While biologists sort out what levels of noise go unnoticed, are annoying or cause harm to marine mammals, physical oceanographer Jeff Nystuen is giving scientists and managers a way to sift through and identify the sounds present in various marine ecosystems.

Related Articles


Nystuen, from the University of Washington's Applied Physics Laboratory, presented his latest findings this week at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu.

Knowing what sound is already there is needed when trying to establish noise regulations. Someday activities may be modified in zones that have troubling noise levels. "For example, when a lot of whales are present you just might say, 'Let's wait until tomorrow to do this,'" Nystuen says.

In order to determine the sound "budgets" for different ecosystems, Nystuen and his team use what they call PALs, short for Passive Aquatic Listeners, designed and built at the Applied Physics Laboratory. Moored to the seafloor by long lines, PALs are submerged tens to thousands of meters below the surface and are set to listen for a few seconds every few minutes. They don't attempt to record every sound � that would take too much memory. Instead Nystuen is developing software that allows the PALs to sift through the racket, identify and sort sound sources by frequencies as they are received.

PALs can identify sounds coming from such things as ships, whales, volcanic eruptions, rainfall and breaking waves. The result is a tally of all the noise and its intensity.

"Those are the two parts of a sound budget, the distribution of different sound sources as a percentage of time and the relative loudness," he says. In some areas, the sound budget might be dominated 90 percent of the time by breaking waves, 3 percent of the time by rainfall and 1 percent of the time by ships. Other locations may show a sound budget with large components from marine animals or human activities.

With funding from the Office of Naval Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Science Foundation, Nystuen has done projects at various locations in the Pacific Ocean, South China Sea and Puget Sound, the inland sea on which Seattle is situated.

A pristine area of the Bering Sea is one baseline for comparisons. In the course of a typical week, one ship might pass by. At the other extreme is Haro Strait, an area just north of Puget Sound that's between British Columbia and the San Juan Islands, where there are so many ships they are difficult to count.

Sixty percent of the time, Haro Strait's sound budget is dominated by shipping noise, Nystuen has found. It's also heavily used by killer whales. "If the food is there, do the orcas care?" he asks. "That's one for the biologists to determine."



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Washington. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Washington. "Devices Tease Out Individual Sounds From Underwater Racket." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060227123528.htm>.
University of Washington. (2006, February 27). Devices Tease Out Individual Sounds From Underwater Racket. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060227123528.htm
University of Washington. "Devices Tease Out Individual Sounds From Underwater Racket." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060227123528.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gas Production Cut on Earthquake Fears

Gas Production Cut on Earthquake Fears

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) The Dutch government has cut production at Europe&apos;s largest gas field in Groningen amid concerns over earthquakes which are damaging local churches. As Amy Pollock reports the decision - largely politically-motivated - could have big economic conseqeunces. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Star Wars-Inspired Prototype Creates Holographic Display

Star Wars-Inspired Prototype Creates Holographic Display

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) A prototype holographic display named Leia - after the Star Wars princess who appeared in holographic form asking Obi-Wan Kenobu for help - is demonstrated at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA and Samsung Launch Embedded Wireless Charging Range

IKEA and Samsung Launch Embedded Wireless Charging Range

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Samsung and IKEA hope their new embedded wireless charging products, launched at Barcelona&apos;s Mobile World Congress, will tempt consumers eager for plugless power. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Samsung Unveils $30,000 'Dream Doghouse'

Samsung Unveils $30,000 'Dream Doghouse'

Buzz60 (Mar. 5, 2015) On display at the Crufts dog show in England, the &apos;dog kennel of the future&apos; comes with features like a doggie treadmill and Samsung tablet. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins