Marine Mammals and Noise by W. John Richardson, Charles I. Malme, Denis H. Thomson,

By W. John Richardson, Charles I. Malme, Denis H. Thomson, Charles R. Greene

Discusses how good marine animals listen, how noisy the oceans became, and what results those new sounds have on marine mammals.

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Sound level meters are widely used in airborne acoustics studies. These include a microphone plus electronics to provide a direct readout and/or stored record of sound level. 6) or otherwise adjusted in relation to human hearing processes. These adjustments may be inappropriate for pinnipeds or other animals, whose relative sensitivity to different frequencies is likely to differ from that of humans (Chapter 8). It is generally better to obtain unweighted data for the relevant frequency band, or separate level measurements for a variety of narrower bands such as Vb octaves.

No one researcher will have expertise with all relevant methods. To fully quantify a noise effects model, a collaborative effort by specialists in physical acoustics and marine mammalogy is needed: • Standard physical acoustic measurements are needed to determine the characteristics of the emitted sounds, their propagation losses, and the ambient noise. However, in designing the timing, locations, and frequency range of these physical measurements, one needs to take account of the seasonal distribution of the marine mammals of interest, and the frequencies of the sounds that they detect and emit.

Most level data are actually averages over intervals as short as a fraction of a second or as long as several minutes, hours, or even days. For transient sounds shorter than the measurement interval, the measured value is less than the actual level during the noise event, and the measured value diminishes as measurement interval increases. Thus, for transient sounds, it is important to specify the interval over which a level measurement was taken ("averaging time"). Also, for continuous but variable sounds, it is important to realize that the variability in a series of level measurements will depend greatly on the averaging time for each individual measurement.

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