Volume 130, Issue 6, December 2011
Index of content:
- UNDERWATER SOUND 
Model-based seafloor characterization employing multi-beam angular backscatter data—A comparative study with dual-frequency single beam130(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3658454View Description Hide Description
Sediment geoacoustic inversion results are estimated employing a multi-beam (MB) echo-sounding system operable at 95 kHz. To characterize the western continental shelf of India (off Goa) seafloor, MB backscatter signals were acquired along with grab sediment samples. The substrate type and roughness of the site were estimated using the composite roughness scatteringmodel with the measured backscatter values. The seafloor parameters, namely mean grain size (); roughness spectrum strength () and exponent (); and sediment volume parameter (), for coarse and fine grain sediments are estimated by employing the MB system. These parameters have also been estimated at two other frequencies (33 and 210 kHz) and are compared to the ground truth data to provide sufficient support in validating the model results and increasing the understanding of the shelf seafloor processes. Distinct interclass separations between the sediment provinces are evident from the estimated mean grain size and water-sediment interface roughness . The seafloor parameters for coarse and fine grain sediments derived from the 95 kHz MB data are consistent with the sediment sample data as well as with the inversion results obtained using backscatter data at 33 and 210 kHz from the same locations.
130(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3654026View Description Hide Description
The passive fathometer algorithm was applied to data from two drifting array experiments in the Mediterranean, Boundary 2003 and 2004. The passive fathometer response was computed with correlation times from 0.34 to 90 s and, for correlation times less than a few seconds, the observed signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) agrees with a 1D model of SNR of the passive fathometer response in an ideal waveguide. In the 2004 experiment, the fathometer response showed the array depth varied periodically with an amplitude of 1 m and a period of 7 s consistent with wave driven motion of the array. This introduced a destructive interference, which prevents the SNR growing with increasing correlation time. A peak-tracking algorithm applied to the fathometer response of experimental data was used to remove this motion allowing the coherent passive fathometer response to be averaged over several minutes without destructive interference. Multirate adaptive beamforming, using 90 s correlation time to form adaptive steer vectors which were applied to 0.34 s data snapshots, increases the SNR of the passive fathometer response.
Where the ocean influences the impulse response and its effect on synchronous changes of acoustic travel time130(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3652864View Description Hide Description
In 1983, sounds at 133 Hz, 0.06 s resolution were transmitted in the Pacific for five days at 2 min intervals over 3709 km between bottom-mounted instruments maintained with atomic clocks. In 1989, a technique was developed to measure changes in acoustic travel time with an accuracy of 135 microseconds at 2 min intervals for selected windows of travel time within the impulse response. The data have short-lived 1 to 10 ms oscillations of travel time with periods less than a few days. Excluding tidal effects, different windows exhibited significant synchronized changes in travel time for periods shorter than 10 h. In the 1980s, this phenomenon was not understood because internal waves have correlation lengths of a few kilometers which are smaller than the way sound was thought to sample the ocean along well-separated and distinct rays corresponding to different windows. The paradox’s resolution comes from modern theories that replace the ray-picture with finite wavelength representations that predict sound can be influenced in the upper ocean over horizontal scales such as 20 km or more. Thus, different windows are influenced by the same short-scale fluctuations of sound speed. This conclusion is supported by the data and numerical simulations of the impulse response.
130(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3651817View Description Hide Description
Vocal characteristics of pygmy blue whales of the eastern Indian Ocean population were analyzed using data from a hydroacoustic station deployed off Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia as part of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty monitoring network, from two acoustic observatories of the Australian Integrated Marine Observing System, and from individual sea noise loggers deployed in the Perth Canyon. These data have been collected from 2002 to 2010, inclusively. It is shown that the themes of pygmy blue whale songs consist of ether three or two repeating tonal sounds with harmonics. The most intense sound of the tonal theme was estimated to correspond to a source level of 179 ± 2 dB re 1 μPa at 1 m measured for 120 calls from seven different animals. Short-duration calls of impulsive downswept sound from pygmy blue whales were weaker with the source level estimated to vary between 168 to 176 dB. A gradual decrease in the call frequency with a mean rate estimated to be 0.35 ± 0.3 Hz/year was observed over nine years in the frequency of the third harmonic of tonal sound 2 in the whale song theme, which corresponds to a negative trend of about 0.12 Hz/year in the call fundamental frequency.
A threatened beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) population in the traffic lane: Vessel-generated noise characteristics of the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, Canada130(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3658449View Description Hide Description
The threatened resident beluga population of the St. Lawrence Estuary shares the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park with significant anthropogenic noise sources, including marine commercial traffic and a well-established, vessel-based whale-watching industry. Frequency-dependent (FD) weighting was used to approximate beluga hearing sensitivity to determine how noise exposure varied in time and space at six sites of high beluga summer residency. The relative contribution of each source to acoustic habitat degradation was estimated by measuring noise levels throughout the summer and noise signatures of typical vessel classes with respect to traffic volume and sound propagation characteristics. Rigid-hulled inflatable boats were the dominant noise source with respect to estimated beluga hearing sensitivity in the studied habitats due to their high occurrence and proximity, high correlation with site-specific FD-weighted sound levels, and the dominance of mid-frequencies (0.3–23 kHz) in their noise signatures. Median C-weighted sound pressure level (SPLRMS) had a range of 19 dB re 1 μPa between the noisiest and quietest sites. Broadband SPLRMS exceeded 120 dB re 1 μPa 8–32% of the time depending on the site. Impacts of these noise levels on St. Lawrence beluga will depend on exposure recurrence and individual responsiveness.