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  • Article
    Three-dimensional beam pattern of regular sperm whale clicks confirms bent-horn hypothesis
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2005-03) Zimmer, Walter M. X. ; Tyack, Peter L. ; Johnson, Mark P. ; Madsen, Peter T.
    The three-dimensional beam pattern of a sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) tagged in the Ligurian Sea was derived using data on regular clicks from the tag and from hydrophones towed behind a ship circling the tagged whale. The tag defined the orientation of the whale, while sightings and beamformer data were used to locate the whale with respect to the ship. The existence of a narrow, forward-directed P1 beam with source levels exceeding 210 dBpeak re: 1 µPa at 1 m is confirmed. A modeled forward-beam pattern, that matches clicks >20° off-axis, predicts a directivity index of 26.7 dB and source levels of up to 229 dBpeak re: 1 µPa at 1 m. A broader backward-directed beam is produced by the P0 pulse with source levels near 200 dBpeak re: 1 µPa at 1 m and a directivity index of 7.4 dB. A low-frequency component with source levels near 190 dBpeak re: 1 µPa at 1 m is generated at the onset of the P0 pulse by air resonance. The results support the bent-horn model of sound production in sperm whales. While the sperm whale nose appears primarily adapted to produce an intense forward-directed sonar signal, less-directional click components convey information to conspecifics, and give rise to echoes from the seafloor and the surface, which may be useful for orientation during dives.
  • Article
    Off-axis effects on the multipulse structure of sperm whale usual clicks with implications for sound production
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2005-11) Zimmer, Walter M. X. ; Madsen, Peter T. ; Teloni, Valeria ; Johnson, Mark P. ; Tyack, Peter L.
    Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) produce multipulsed clicks with their hypertrophied nasal complex. The currently accepted view of the sound generation process is based on the click structure measured directly in front of, or behind, the whale where regular interpulse intervals (IPIs) are found between successive pulses in the click. Most sperm whales, however, are recorded with the whale in an unknown orientation with respect to the hydrophone where the multipulse structure and the IPI do not conform to a regular pulse pattern. By combining far-field recordings of usual clicks with acoustic and orientation information measured by a tag on the clicking whale, we analyzed clicks from known aspects to the whale. We show that a geometric model based on the bent horn theory for sound production can explain the varying off-axis multipulse structure. Some of the sound energy that is reflected off the frontal sac radiates directly into the water creating an intermediate pulse p1/2 seen in off-axis recordings. The powerful p1 sonar pulse exits the front of the junk as predicted by the bent-horn model, showing that the junk of the sperm whale nasal complex is both anatomically and functionally homologous to the melon of smaller toothed whales.
  • Article
    Modeling acoustic propagation of airgun array pulses recorded on tagged sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus)
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2006-12) DeRuiter, Stacy L. ; Tyack, Peter L. ; Lin, Ying-Tsong ; Newhall, Arthur E. ; Lynch, James F. ; Miller, Patrick J. O.
    In 2002 and 2003, tagged sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) were experimentally exposed to airgun pulses in the Gulf of Mexico, with the tags providing acoustic recordings at measured ranges and depths. Ray trace and parabolic equation (PE) models provided information about sound propagation paths and accurately predicted time of arrival differences between multipath arrivals. With adequate environmental information, a broadband acoustic PE model predicted the relative levels of multipath arrivals recorded on the tagged whales. However, lack of array source signature data limited modeling of absolute received levels. Airguns produce energy primarily below 250 Hz, with spectrum levels about 20–40 dB lower at 1 kHz. Some arrivals recorded near the surface in 2002 had energy predominantly above 500 Hz; a surface duct in the 2002 sound speed profile helps explain this effect, and the beampattern of the source array also indicates an increased proportion of high-frequency sound at near-horizontal launch angles. These findings indicate that airguns sometimes expose animals to measurable sound energy above 250 Hz, and demonstrate the influences of source and environmental parameters on characteristics of received airgun pulses. The study also illustrates that on-axis source levels and simple geometric spreading inadequately describe airgun pulse propagation and the extent of exposure zones.