[MARMAM] New Publication on Arctic Ambient Noise

Brandon Southall brandon.southall at sea-inc.net
Fri May 29 15:54:50 PDT 2020

MARMAM readers,

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new paper on ambient noise in the Alaskan Arctic. Recorders at multiple sites, many occurring over the Arctic winter, enable measurements of soundscapes spanning seasons and large areas. As indicated, there are various environmental, biological (marine mammal), and anthropogenic sources that contribute to these underwater soundscapes in different ways across the areas of the Beringia region that were sampled. The reference, location, and abstract are provide below.

Brandon Southall (on behalf of my co-authors)


Southall B.L., Southall, H., Antunes, R., Nichols, R., Rouse, A., Stafford, K. M., Robards, M., and Rosenbaum H. (2020). Seasonal trends in underwater ambient noise near St. Lawrence Island and the Bering Strait. Marine Pollution Bulletin 157, 111283. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111283

We measured spatial and temporal patterns of ambient noise in dynamic, relatively pristine Arctic marine habitats and evaluate the contributions of environmental and human noise sources. Long-term acoustic recorders were deployed around St. Lawrence Island and the Bering Strait region within key feeding and migratory corridors for protected species that are inherently important to Native Alaskan cultures. Over 3000 h of data from 14 recorders at nine sites were obtained from October 2014 to June 2017. Spatial and temporal ambient noise patterns were quantified with percentile statistics in 1/3rd-octave bands (0.02–8 kHz). Ice presence strongly influenced ambient noise by influencing the physical environment and presence of marine mammals. High variability in noise was observed within and between sites, largely as a function of ice presence and associated factors. Acute contributions of biological and anthropogenic sources to local ambient noise are compared to monthly averages, demonstrating how they influence Arctic soundscapes.


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