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  Monitoring the global ocean through underwater acoustics
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. Acoustic Monitoring Program: Pioneer Seamount  

spectrogram of data
Example of acoustic data received from hydrophone.
  diagram of seamount & cable, click for full-size
Overview of Pioneer Seamount, the hydrophone and cable. (click for full-size)

As part of NOAA's Ocean Exploration Program, scientists are using an undersea cable to passively monitor the ocean for natural and man-made sounds. This cable extends about 95 km from shore to an undersea mountain known as Pioneer Seamount (37 21.1'N;123 26.1'W). On August 31, 2001, a hydrophone array was installed on the summit of the seamount (998m depth), and sounds from earthquakes, weather, whales, ships, etc. are continuously recorded and transmitted to this web site as they are received.
Acoustic signals ceased on September 25, 2002. Testing by University of Washington engineers indicate a cable fault approximately 25 miles offshore. A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) from MBARI surveyed and photographed the cable in the summer of 2003. Survey results indicated the cable should not be repaired due to costs and environmental impacts.

ocean explorer logoVisit Ocean Explorer's Sound in the Sea Exploration to Pioneer Seamount.


.. Sound Libary: compare the live data with the sounds below to identify the sound you see. Click on the labels to go to pages with more detail on this sounds. .
fin whale
  ship spectrogram earthquake spectrogram blue whale spectrogram fin whale spectrogram humpback spectrogram  
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