[MARMAM] New publication: Lombard effect in minke whales

Regina Guazzo rguazzo at ucsd.edu
Tue Feb 11 08:00:00 PST 2020

Dear Colleagues,

My co-authors and I are excited to announce the following publication:

Helble TA, Guazzo RA, Martin CR, Durbach IN, Alongi GC, Martin SW, Boyle
JK, Henderson EE (2020). Lombard effect: Minke whale boing call source
levels vary with natural variations in ocean noise. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 142
(2): 698-712.

DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0000596

Minke whales were acoustically detected, localized, and tracked on the U.S.
Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility from 2012 to 2017. Animal source
levels (SLs) were estimated by adding transmission loss estimates to
measured received levels of 42,159 individual minke whale boings. Minke
whales off Hawaii exhibited the Lombard effect in that they increased their
boing call intensity in increased background noise. Minke whales also
decreased the variance of the boing call SL in higher background noise
levels. Although the whales partially compensated for increasing background
noise, they were unable or unwilling to increase their SLs by the same
amount as the background noise. As oceans become louder, this reduction in
communication space could negatively impact the health of minke whale
populations. The findings in this study also have important implications
for acoustic animal density studies, which may use SL to estimate
probability of detection.

Please email me (regina.guazzo at spawar.navy.mil) or Tyler Helble (
tyler.helble at navy.mil) if you have any questions about this work.

All my best,


Regina A. Guazzo, PhD
Environmental Readiness Branch
Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific
(c) 908.507.1421
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