Long distance passive localization of vocalizing sei whales using an acoustic normal mode approach. Academic Article uri icon


  • During a 2 day period in mid-September 2006, more than 200, unconfirmed but identifiable, sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) calls were collected as incidental data during a multidisciplinary oceanography and acoustics experiment on the shelf off New Jersey. Using a combined vertical and horizontal acoustic receiving array, sei whale movements were tracked over long distances (up to tens of kilometers) using a normal mode back propagation technique. This approach uses low-frequency, broadband passive sei whale call receptions from a single-station, two-dimensional hydrophone array to perform long distance localization and tracking by exploiting the dispersive nature of propagating normal modes in a shallow water environment. The back propagation approach is examined for accuracy and application to tracking the sei whale vocalizations identified in the vertical and horizontal array signals. This passive whale tracking, combined with the intensive oceanography measurements performed during the experiment, was also used to examine sei whale movements in relation to oceanographic features observed in this region.

publication date

  • February 2012