Sonar-induced pressure fields in a post-mortem common dolphin. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Potential physical effects of sonar transmissions on marine mammals were investigated by measuring pressure fields induced in a 119-kg, 211-cm-long, young adult male common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) cadaver. The specimen was instrumented with tourmaline acoustic pressure gauges used as receiving sensors. Gauge implantation near critical tissues was guided by intraoperative, high-resolution, computerized tomography (CT) scanning. Instrumented structures included the melon, nares, ear, thoracic wall, lungs, epaxial muscle, and lower abdomen. The specimen was suspended from a frame equipped with a standard 50.8-mm-diameter spherical transducer used as the acoustic source and additional receiving sensors to monitor the transmitted and external, scattered field. Following immersion, the transducer transmitted pulsed sinusoidal signals at 5, 7, and 10 kHz. Quantitative internal pressure fields are reported for all cases except those in which the gauge failed or no received signal was detected. A full necropsy was performed immediately after the experiment to examine instrumented areas and all major organs. No lesions attributable to acoustic transmissions were found, consistent with the low source level and source-receiver distances.

publication date

  • February 2012