Acoustic Signatures of Shipping, Weather and Marine Life: Comparison of NE Pacific and Arctic Soundscapes

Philippe Blondel, Benedict Dell, Cheran Suriyaprakasam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)
76 Downloads (Pure)


Acoustic signatures of shipping, weather and marine life are relatively well constrained, but there are strong variations with their oceanographic context and human activities. We investigate two contrasted settings, for timescales up to a year and frequencies up to 2 kHz. Arctic data from NOAA Noise Reference Station
(NRS) NRS01, 500 m deep in the Arctic Chukchi Sea and away from major shipping areas is compared with measurements from Folger Deep, part of the Ocean Networks Canada network, 95 m deep and close to shipping lanes. PAMGuide is used to quantify broadband Sound Pressure Levels (SPLs), Third-Octave band Levels (TOLs), Power Spectral Densities (PSDs) and percentile contributions. The Acoustic Complexity Index (ACI) is an emerging metric to measure the apparent acoustic biodiversity, and we use its Seewave
implementation. We compare the third-octave bands centred on 63 Hz and 125 Hz (“shipping” bands of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive) in each environment and assess their use in the presence of heavy ice and little to no shipping. Metrics designed for open waters are not directly applicable to icy
environments, or at least not on their own. They must be supplemented with multivariate analyses of context-specific third-octave bands.
Original languageEnglish
Article number070011
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
Early online date27 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • underwater acoustics
  • climate change
  • polar environments
  • shipping
  • human impacts
  • arctic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Oceanography


Dive into the research topics of 'Acoustic Signatures of Shipping, Weather and Marine Life: Comparison of NE Pacific and Arctic Soundscapes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this