We develop unique acoustics tools and technologies to support the mission of NOAA as well as other federal agencies, academic institutions and international partners. Our primary goals are [a] to acquire long-term data sets of the global ocean acoustics environment, and [b] to identify and assess acoustic impacts from human activities and natural processes on the marine environment.
- Conduct marine acoustics research and technology development under NOAA’s mission of Science, Service, and Stewardship
- Provide acoustic tools and research capabilities for a variety of applications to meet NOAA’s research goals
- Develop “Next Generation” technologies and instrumentation in support of NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) objectives
Acoustics Research Groups:
Ocean Acoustics program scientists record sounds of iceberg demise:
During a 5-year hydrophone experiment along the Antarctic Peninsula, OA scientists recorded of the full life cycle sounds of a mega iceberg, from grounding tremor at its origin to icequakes as it broke apart in the warmer waters of the southern ocean. It was estimated that these cryogenic sounds can be significantly louder than anthropogenic noises and should be considered as a major contributor to the overall ocean noise budget in the southern ocean. These results are detailed in a recent paper published in Oceanography. (KLCC Public Broadcasting | Discovery News | National Geographic | Voice of America)
First CO2 gas flow estimate from a submarine volcano:
Using hydrophone records of volcanic explosion sounds and melt inclusion data, Vents scientists were able to estimate the yearly amount of carbon dioxide gas emitted from a submarine volcano. The results, published in the journal G-cubed (pdf), show that the 500 m deep volcano NW Rota-1 (located in the Mariana Island group) expels ~0.4 Tgrams of CO2 per year, or roughly 1% of the global CO2 contribution from subaerial arc volcanoes.
Precursors to Eruption at Axial Seamount Found:
NOAA Vents scientists recently published papers in the journal Nature Geoscience that show, for the first time, that precursory signals were recorded by seafloor instruments before an undersea volcanic eruption at Axial Seamount in 2011. Such signals could be used to issue long-term and short-term forecasts of future eruptions at the site
Tsunami Sound: Undersea hydrophones captured the sounds of the March 11 Mw 9.0 earthquake that shook Japan and sent a tsunami wave across the Pacific Ocean. The hydrophones recorded the seismic and acoustic arrivals of the earthquake, known as P- and T-waves respectively.
PMEL Researches "Wind to Whales" in the Bering Sea February 2, 2010. In a study published January 30 in Geophysical Research Letters, described integrated biophysical data “from wind to whales” in the Southeast Bering Sea. 2/10/2010
Results of NOAA PMEL response expedition investigating earthquake swarms on Juan de Fuca plate and the Northern Gorda Ridge, offshore Oregon.
Previously unknown fault caused earthquake swarm off Oregon's coast
NOAA Expedition Hears Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales off Greenland (NOAA News 5/28/2009)
Right Whales Return to Former Killing Ground
(National Geographic News 5/20/2009)