Observing the Oceans Acoustically

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For the week of 29 July 2019

Greetings OpenChannels Community Members,

Frontiers in Marine Science published, Observing the Oceans Acoustically.

Abstract: Acoustics play a central role in humankind’s interactions with the ocean and the life within. Passive listening to ocean “soundscapes” informs us about the physical and bio-acoustic environment from earthquakes to communication between fish. Active acoustic probing of the environment informs us about ocean topography, currents and temperature, and abundance and type of marine life vital to fisheries and biodiversity related interests. The two together in a multi-purpose network can lead to discovery and improve understanding of ocean ecosystem health and biodiversity, climate variability and change, and marine hazards and maritime safety. Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) of sound generated and utilized by marine life as well as other natural (wind, rain, ice, seismics) and anthropogenic (shipping, surveys) sources, has dramatically increased worldwide to enhance understanding of ecological processes. Characterizing ocean soundscapes (the levels and frequency of sound over time and space, and the sources contributing to the sound field), temporal trends in ocean sound at different frequencies, distribution and abundance of marine species that vocalize, and distribution and amount of human activities that generate sound in the sea, all require passive acoustic systems. Acoustic receivers are now routinely acquiring data on a global scale, e.g., Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization International Monitoring System hydroacoustic arrays, various regional integrated ocean observing systems, and some profiling floats. Judiciously placed low-frequency acoustic sources transmitting to globally distributed PAM and other systems provide: (1) high temporal resolution measurements of large-scale ocean temperature/heat content variability, taking advantage of the inherent integrating nature of acoustic travel-time data using tomography; and (2) acoustic positioning (“underwater GPS”) and communication services enabling basin-scale undersea navigation and management of floats, gliders, and AUVs. This will be especially valuable in polar regions with ice cover. Routine deployment of sources during repeat global-scale hydrographic ship surveys would provide high spatial coverage snapshots of ocean temperatures. To fully exploit the PAM systems, precise timing and positioning need to be broadly implemented. Ocean sound is now a mature Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) “essential ocean variable,” which is one crucial step toward providing a fully integrated global multi-purpose ocean acoustic observing system.

As always, if we've missed anything, please feel free to let us know. You may simply reply to this message, or you may email Allie directly at: abrown [at] openchannels.org.

You can read everything (not just the free stuff) we have found this week at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-update/2019-07-31.

Additionally, you can browse literature by the week we've added it at https://www.openchannels.org/literature-by-week.

Thank you for being part of the OpenChannels Community,
– Allie Brown, Raye Evrard, and the rest of the OpenChannels Team


OA: Canonico, G. et al. Global Observational Needs and Resources for Marine BiodiversityFrontiers in Marine Science (2019).

Communication and Education

OA: Mogias, A. et al. Evaluating Ocean Literacy of Elementary School Students: Preliminary Results of a Cross-Cultural Study in the Mediterranean RegionFrontiers in Marine Science (2019).


OA: Scianni, C. & Georgiades, E. Vessel In-Water Cleaning or Treatment: Identification of Environmental Risks and Science Needs for Evidence-Based Decision MakingFrontiers in Marine Science (2019).

Ecosystem-based Management (EBM)

OA: Darmanin, S. Agius & Vella, A. First Central Mediterranean Scientific Field Study on Recreational Fishing Targeting the Ecosystem Approach to SustainabilityFrontiers in Marine Science (2019).

Fisheries and Fisheries Management

OA: Bauer, B. et al. Food web and fisheries in the future Baltic SeaAmbio(2019). doi:10.1007/s13280-019-01229-3

OA: Bejarano, S., Pardede, S., Campbell, S. J., Hoey, A. S. & Ferse, S. C. A. Herbivorous fish rise as a destructive fishing practice falls in an Indonesian marine national parkEcological Applications (2019). doi:10.1002/eap.1981

Food for Thought

OA: Benway, H. M. et al. Ocean Time Series Observations of Changing Marine Ecosystems: An Era of Integration, Synthesis, and Societal ApplicationsFrontiers in Marine Science (2019).

OA: C. Nichols, R. et al. Collaborative Science to Enhance Coastal Resilience and AdaptationFrontiers in Marine Science (2019).

OA: deYoung, B. et al. An Integrated All-Atlantic Ocean Observing System in 2030Frontiers in Marine Science (2019).

Human Impacts on the Environment

OA: Hughes, E. W., Molina, M. Rouco, Abella, M. K. I. L., Nikolić-Hughes, I. & Ruderman, M. A. Radiation maps of ocean sediment from the Castle Bravo craterProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 201903478 (2019). doi:10.1073/pnas.1903478116

Invasive Species

OA: Veazey, L., Williams, O., Wade, R., Toonen, R. & Spalding, H. L. Present-Day Distribution and Potential Spread of the Invasive Green Alga Avrainvillea amadelpha Around the Main Hawaiian IslandsFrontiers in Marine Science(2019).

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

OA: Hernández, C. M. et al. Evidence and patterns of tuna spawning inside a large no-take Marine Protected AreaScientific Reports 9, (2019).


OA: Ponte, R. M. et al. Towards Comprehensive Observing and Modeling Systems for Monitoring and Predicting Regional to Coastal Sea LevelFrontiers in Marine Science (2019).

OA: Benveniste, J. et al. Requirements for a Coastal Hazards Observing SystemFrontiers in Marine Science (2019).

OA: De Mey-Frémaux, P. et al. Model-Observations Synergy in the Coastal OceanFrontiers in Marine Science (2019).

OA: Bôas, A. B. Villas et al. Integrated Observations of Global Surface Winds, Currents, and Waves: Requirements and Challenges for the Next DecadeFrontiers in Marine Science (2019).

Natural Sciences

OA: Vecchione, M. ROV Observations on Reproduction by Deep-Sea Cephalopods in the Central Pacific OceanFrontiers in Marine Science (2019).

Recreational Fisheries

OA: Darmanin, S. Agius & Vella, A. First Central Mediterranean Scientific Field Study on Recreational Fishing Targeting the Ecosystem Approach to SustainabilityFrontiers in Marine Science (2019).


OA: Eisemann, Á. Randazzo, Muñoz, J. Luis Monte, McField, M., Myton, J. & Arias-González, J. Ernesto. The Effect of Algal-Gardening Damselfish on the Resilience of the Mesoamerican ReefFrontiers in Marine Science (2019).

Sea-level Rise, Coastal Flooding, and Storm Events

OA: Dougherty, A. J. et al. Redating the earliest evidence of the mid-Holocene relative sea-level highstand in Australia and implications for global sea-level risePLOS ONE 14, e0218430 (2019).

Small-scale Fisheries

OA: Tilley, A. et al. Evaluating the Fit of Co-management for Small-Scale Fisheries Governance in Timor-LesteFrontiers in Marine Science (2019).

Soundscapes and Acoustics

OA: Howe, B. M. et al. Observing the Oceans AcousticallyFrontiers in Marine Science (2019).

OA: Geoffroy, M. et al. Mesopelagic Sound Scattering Layers of the High Arctic: Seasonal Variations in Biomass, Species Assemblage, and Trophic RelationshipsFrontiers in Marine Science (2019).