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:
PMEL researchers developed a unique hydrophone mooring that made the first sound recording at Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench.
For more information, see:
Eerie noises from the darkest depths (Washington Post)
Ocean's deepest spot a noisy place (Seattle Times)
Oregon Scientists Eavesdrop On Ocean's Deepest Deep (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
Monitoring baseline ocean noise is critically important to understand both natural and anthropogenic changes in the marine ambient sound environment. A network of 11 ocean noise reference stations has been established in U.S. waters to measure changes and trends in natural and man-made ocean noise. Natural sounds ranging from whale calls and volcanoes to anthropogenic sounds from shipping and oil/gas exploration are recorded by the moored, underwater hydrophones developed by PMEL engineers and scientists and deployed in collaboration with NMFS-OST, all the Fisheries Science Centers, NOS Marine Sanctuaries, and the National Park Service. The establishment of a long-term record provides fundamental data needed to understand how increased noise in the ocean may affect marine life and ocean health. For more information, see:
Strong Earthquakes off the Oregon Coast:
A sequence of strong earthquakes (magnitudes 4.3-5.9) occurred on the seafloor ~250 miles west of Newport, Oregon. The earthquakes are along the western Blanco Fracture Zone, a 200 mile long strike-slip fault located in water a mile deep. The Blanco forms one of the southern boundaries between the small Juan de Fuca plate and the much larger Pacific Plate. Clusters of earthquakes of this magnitude occur on the Blanco Fracture Zone roughly every 3-5 years. (June 1, 2015):
USA Today | Weather Channel | Statesman Journal | Oregonian
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