Seasonal soundscapes from three ocean basins: What is driving the differences?

Jennifer Miksis-Olds, Chad M. Smith, Russell S. Hawkins, David L. Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Variation of low-frequency ambient sound levels is examined through seasonal soundscapes in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Ocean basins. A year-long time series from the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) monitoring system was analyzed from each ocean basin in 2008. The CTBTO system continuously recorded low frequency sound (<1 -125 Hz) from two sets of three omni-directional hydrophones positioned on opposite sides of an island in each ocean basin. Seasonal soundscapes were generated by calculating the ratio of energy in two targeted bandwidths: 10-30 Hz and 85-105 Hz. The bandwidths were selected to reflect major sound source contributions from marine mammal vocalizations and long-distance shipping traffic. Results from this comparative study show how both sound levels and variability differ between and within the ocean basins. Differences between the soundscapes generated on opposite sides of an island illustrate how the dominant ambient sound sources are influenced by regional physical, biological, and anthropogenic factors. A comprehensive understanding of the acoustic time series and major sound sources from different ocean basins provides a synoptic perspective by which to monitor ocean noise in both hemispheres as ocean use and climate conditions change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number070036
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
StatePublished - 2012
Event11th European Conference on Underwater Acoustics, ECUA 2012 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: Jul 2 2012Jul 6 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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