Passive acoustic localization techniques of Eastern Pacific grey whales

J.L. Wladichuk, W.M. Megill, P. Blondel

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Eastern Pacific grey whales (Eschrichtius robustus) thrive in shallow water environments where visibility is reduced but apparently do not actively echolocate. Along their migration route and in their feeding grounds these whales are exposed to high levels of ambient noise, highly turbid waters and many underwater obstacles. To test possible passive acoustic localization mechanisms (e.g. Acoustic Daylight Imaging and Passive Synthetic Aperture), we made extensive acoustic measurements during comprehensive field studies of these whales on their summer feeding grounds in British Columbia (Canada). In combination with visual observations of the whales and their behaviours, we investigated the acoustical sources available to the whales when navigating within a feeding bay. First, we measured ambient noise levels to construct the acoustic landscape around the whales. Second, we investigated how sound is altered when objects such as kelp beds and rocks are present. We also measured acoustic changes induced by direct, controlled modifications of the near-shore environment. The aim of this research is to understand how grey whales might be finding their way around, and what impact, if any, increased levels of ambient noise might have on the whales' ability to find food and navigate within the feeding grounds.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Event7th European Conference on Noise Control 2008, EURONOISE 2008 - Paris, France
Duration: 28 Jun 20083 Jul 2008


Conference7th European Conference on Noise Control 2008, EURONOISE 2008


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