Líffræðifélag Íslands
Líffræðiráðstefnan 2015

Erindi/veggspjald / Talk/poster E8

A large hydrophone array to localize vocalizing blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) in Skjálfandi Bay, Iceland

Marianne Rasmussen (1), Magnus Wahlberg (2), Henriette Schack (3), Nina Bircher (2), Maria Iversen (1), Ursula Sierbert (4)

1. Húsavik Research Center, 2. University of Southern Denmark, 3. HBS consulting, 4. Tiho, University of Hannover,

Kynnir / Presenter: Marianne Rasmussen

Tengiliður / Corresponding author: Marianne Rasmussen (mhr@hi.is)

Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) are feeding in Skjálfandi Bay, Iceland, every year during the month of June. Here we used a large hydrophone array to localize blue whale calls off Húsavík from 18th of June until 4th of July, 2015. Three sailing vessels and a speed boat were used as platforms for the recordings. Each recording vessel had a calibrated hydrophone (either Brüel & Kjær 8101 or Reson 4032) connected to an Olympus LS-10 or LS-14 digital recorder. The underwater sounds were recorded in one channel and a frequency-shift-keyed GPS signal was recorded in the other channel. The hydrophone was lowered to a depth of 30 meters from each recording vessel. All recordings were made in Sea State 3 or less. During the recordings the boats were separated by either 500 meters or 1km either in North – South or East – West direction. Recordings were conducted both during night time and during day time to include data with boat traffic and without. Data were collected on ten different recording trips. The down-sweep blue whale calls gave adequate acoustic localizations that were used for source level estimates. The data provides important insights in to blue whale communication and how it may be affected by anthropogenic noise such as for example boat noise.