Seafloor observatories are a rapidly maturing technological approach, enabling the monitoring of marine soundscapes over large areas (basin scale) and long timescales (10+ years). However, the time needed to process broadband measurements, especially over large periods, often acts as a bottleneck. This is particularly true when combining multi-resolution analyses with assessing the impacts of relatively short transients. We are using parallel processing to enable machine learning approaches. To accelerate the computation of spectrograms, we have implemented a parallel processing method that uses the FFT algorithm FFTW3 (http://www.fftw.org/fftw3.pdf), using MPI/C++ on the High Performance Computing facilities at the University of Bath, and compared with spectrogram calculations from well-established software PAMGuide (Merchant et al., Meth. Ecol. Evol., 2015), with Matlab’s Parallel Computing Toolbox. This approach was tested on 1 month of broadband (96 kHz) measurements from the NEPTUNE node at Folger Deep. One month of data can be processed in < 3 hours, to a dB accuracy even on short time segments, and that performance increases with the number of parallel processing units. Stability of the parallel approach has been tested with synthetic signals (e.g. chirps) and increasing signal-to-noise ratios. This enables much faster monitoring of long-term trends of important sound metrics.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
Event176th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and 2018 Acoustics Week in Canada - Victoria Conference Centre, Victoria, Canada
Duration: 5 Nov 20189 Nov 2018
Conference number: 176


Conference176th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and 2018 Acoustics Week in Canada
Abbreviated titleASA-2018
Internet address


  • underwater acoustics
  • ambient noise
  • parallel processing
  • seafloor observatories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Mathematical Physics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Parallel processing and machine learning for long-timescale ambient noise measurements – Illustration with data from the Neptune Ocean Observatory offshore British Columbia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this