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Underwater Acoustic Impacts of COVID-19

Updated October 16, 2020 Introduction The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a major impact on society around the globe. Shelter-in-place orders and non-essential travel bans have had significant effects at all levels, from local to national economies. There have been unexpected, wide-ranging, trickle-down effects from these changes, including shifts in local and regional underwater noise [...]

Underwater Acoustic Impacts of COVID-192020-10-20T14:51:44-05:00

Changes in Baleen Whale Vocalizations

Decadal Decreases in the Frequency (Pitch) of Baleen Whale Vocalizations Blue whales are the largest living mammal species. Their long, slender bodies can reach lengths of 30.5 m (100 ft) and weigh up to 160 tons. Blue whales produce stereotyped calls, described as pulses, grunts, groans, and moans, which are typically in the 15-40 [...]

Changes in Baleen Whale Vocalizations2020-06-29T09:22:43-05:00

Decoding the hum of submarine volcanic eruptions

Earthquakes and other geologic events produce acoustic signals that can be measured and monitored on land and underwater. Seismic energy from submarine earthquakes is converted into acoustic energy at the seafloor-water boundary.  A Tertiary wave (or T-wave) is an acoustic signal associated with earthquakes. T-waves propagate efficiently in the ocean compared to seismic waves through [...]

Decoding the hum of submarine volcanic eruptions2020-11-23T12:38:43-05:00

Hot Topic- Killer Whales and Vessel Noise

Measuring and mitigating the potential impacts of vessel noise on endangered killer whales Underwater sound associated with commercial vessel traffic is one, recognized threat to the southern resident population of killer whales. Image credit: NOAA, NWFSC. Southern resident killer whales (SRKW) are an endangered marine mammal population found off the Pacific coasts of [...]

Hot Topic- Killer Whales and Vessel Noise2020-11-23T12:38:21-05:00

Hot Topic – Measuring Methane Bubble Plumes

Using Underwater Acoustics to Detect and Measure Global Ocean Methane Flux Close up imagery of methane hydrate. Scientists study methane hydrates as a potential natural gas source and for its potential role in releasing methane to the atmosphere during climate change events. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. [...]

Hot Topic – Measuring Methane Bubble Plumes2019-04-24T06:50:15-05:00

Hot Topic – Listening to Monterey Bay

Hydrophone Provides Continuous, Live Stream of Deep Sea Sounds from Monterey Bay Location of the MARS hydrophone, on the Smooth Ridge, at the edge of Monterey Canyon, approximately 30 km (18 mi) from shore. Image credit: MBARI. The Monterey Accelerated Research System (MARS) cabled observatory, the first cabled oceanographic observatory on the U.S. [...]

Hot Topic – Listening to Monterey Bay2018-12-18T13:29:38-05:00

Hot Topic- Passive Acoustic Monitoring Critical to Vaquita Conservation Efforts

An international team of experts have partnered on a “bold” conservation plan (VaquitaCPR; https://www.vaquitacpr.org) to prevent the most endangered marine mammal in the world, the vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus), from going extinct. The vaquita is only found in the upper portion of Mexico’s Gulf of California. Its population was estimated at 567 individuals in 1997, [...]

Hot Topic- Passive Acoustic Monitoring Critical to Vaquita Conservation Efforts2020-11-23T12:35:18-05:00

Hot Topic – Guidance on Determining Potential Effects to Marine Mammal Hearing

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is the U.S. federal agency that is responsible for the stewardship of the nation’s ocean resources, including the management of the majority of marine mammals, such as whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, and sea lions. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has jurisdiction over walruses, polar bears, manatees, dugongs, and sea [...]

Hot Topic – Guidance on Determining Potential Effects to Marine Mammal Hearing2019-03-22T09:47:11-05:00