Proposed Abstract Title

Underwater Noise Measurement Station for Vessels in the Salish Sea

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Understanding and managing potential cumulative threats to marine mammals and their habitats from commercial vessel activities

Location

2016SSEC

Description

A collaborative project between Port Metro Vancouver, Transport Canada, Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) and JASCO Applied Sciences (Canada) Ltd., has installed an underwater listening station along the northbound (incoming) shipping route to Burrard Inlet. This system is designed to characterize the acoustic emissions of large numbers of vessels that transit a predefined source measurement track. The results are important for assessing marine fauna exposures to noise throughout the Salish Sea and for designing possible vessel noise mitigation strategies. The underwater listening station consists of two AMAR Observer systems from JASCO Applied Sciences, connected to ONC’s VENUS East Node underwater observatory. Each AMAR Observer can accurately track vessels and simultaneously measure vessel sound levels using tetrahedral hydrophone arrays. Further vessel tracking information is provided by a dedicated vessel Automatic Identification System (AIS) installed by ONC. Acoustic data are digitized at 64 kHz on all 8 hydrophone channels, producing a large amount of data (1.5 MB per second). ONC’s East Node also collects salinity, temperature, and water current data. All acoustic and oceanographic data are transmitted in real-time over the VENUS network to ONC’s shore-based storage and high-performance-computer processing systems at University of Victoria. There, JASCO’s automated acoustic software analyzes the data and produces source level measurement reports for each vessel pass. The acoustic range has additional capabilities, including the automatic detection of marine mammal calls and measurement of ambient noise levels. In this presentation we will outline the technical design of the underwater listening station and we will discuss the purpose of these measurements and their relevance for assessing vessel noise in the Salish Sea.

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Underwater Noise Measurement Station for Vessels in the Salish Sea

2016SSEC

A collaborative project between Port Metro Vancouver, Transport Canada, Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) and JASCO Applied Sciences (Canada) Ltd., has installed an underwater listening station along the northbound (incoming) shipping route to Burrard Inlet. This system is designed to characterize the acoustic emissions of large numbers of vessels that transit a predefined source measurement track. The results are important for assessing marine fauna exposures to noise throughout the Salish Sea and for designing possible vessel noise mitigation strategies. The underwater listening station consists of two AMAR Observer systems from JASCO Applied Sciences, connected to ONC’s VENUS East Node underwater observatory. Each AMAR Observer can accurately track vessels and simultaneously measure vessel sound levels using tetrahedral hydrophone arrays. Further vessel tracking information is provided by a dedicated vessel Automatic Identification System (AIS) installed by ONC. Acoustic data are digitized at 64 kHz on all 8 hydrophone channels, producing a large amount of data (1.5 MB per second). ONC’s East Node also collects salinity, temperature, and water current data. All acoustic and oceanographic data are transmitted in real-time over the VENUS network to ONC’s shore-based storage and high-performance-computer processing systems at University of Victoria. There, JASCO’s automated acoustic software analyzes the data and produces source level measurement reports for each vessel pass. The acoustic range has additional capabilities, including the automatic detection of marine mammal calls and measurement of ambient noise levels. In this presentation we will outline the technical design of the underwater listening station and we will discuss the purpose of these measurements and their relevance for assessing vessel noise in the Salish Sea.