Jech J. Michael

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J. Michael

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  • Article
    Broadband classification and statistics of echoes from aggregations of fish measured by long-range, mid-frequency sonar
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2017-06-13) Jones, Benjamin A. ; Stanton, Timothy K. ; Colosi, John A. ; Gauss, Roger C. ; Fialkowski, Joseph M. ; Jech, J. Michael
    For horizontal-looking sonar systems operating at mid-frequencies (1–10 kHz), scattering by fish with resonant gas-filled swimbladders can dominate seafloor and surface reverberation at long-ranges (i.e., distances much greater than the water depth). This source of scattering, which can be difficult to distinguish from other sources of scattering in the water column or at the boundaries, can add spatio-temporal variability to an already complex acoustic record. Sparsely distributed, spatially compact fish aggregations were measured in the Gulf of Maine using a long-range broadband sonar with continuous spectral coverage from 1.5 to 5 kHz. Observed echoes, that are at least 15 decibels above background levels in the horizontal-looking sonar data, are classified spectrally by the resonance features as due to swimbladder-bearing fish. Contemporaneous multi-frequency echosounder measurements (18, 38, and 120 kHz) and net samples are used in conjunction with physics-based acoustic models to validate this approach. Furthermore, the fish aggregations are statistically characterized in the long-range data by highly non-Rayleigh distributions of the echo magnitudes. These distributions are accurately predicted by a computationally efficient, physics-based model. The model accounts for beam-pattern and waveguide effects as well as the scattering response of aggregations of fish.
  • Article
    New broadband methods for resonance classification and high-resolution imagery of fish with swimbladders using a modified commercial broadband echosounder
    (Oxford University Press, 2010-01-05) Stanton, Timothy K. ; Chu, Dezhang ; Jech, J. Michael ; Irish, James D.
    A commercial acoustic system, originally designed for seafloor applications, has been adapted for studying fish with swimbladders. The towed system contains broadband acoustic channels collectively spanning the frequency range 1.7–100 kHz, with some gaps. Using a pulse-compression technique, the range resolution of the echoes is ~20 and 3 cm in the lower and upper ranges of the frequencies, respectively, allowing high-resolution imaging of patches and resolving fish near the seafloor. Measuring the swimbladder resonance at the lower frequencies eliminates major ambiguities normally associated with the interpretation of fish echo data: (i) the resonance frequency can be used to estimate the volume of the swimbladder (inferring the size of fish), and (ii) signals at the lower frequencies do not depend strongly on the orientation of the fish. At-sea studies of Atlantic herring demonstrate the potential for routine measurements of fish size and density, with significant improvements in accuracy over traditional high-frequency narrowband echosounders. The system also detected patches of scatterers, presumably zooplankton, at the higher frequencies. New techniques for quantitative use of broadband systems are presented, including broadband calibration and relating target strength and volume-scattering strength to quantities associated with broadband signal processing.
  • Article
    Resonance classification of mixed assemblages of fish with swimbladders using a modified commercial broadband acoustic echosounder at 1–6 kHz
    (NRC Research Press, 2012-04-19) Stanton, Timothy K. ; Sellers, Cynthia J. ; Jech, J. Michael
    Recently developed broadband acoustic methods were used to study mixed assemblages of fish spanning a wide range of lengths and species. Through a combination of resonance classification and pulse-compression signal processing, which provides for high-range resolution, a modified commercial broadband echosounder was demonstrated to provide quantitative information on the spatial distribution of the individual size classes within an assemblage. In essence, this system spectrally resolves the different size classes of fish that are otherwise not resolved spatially. This method reveals new insights into biological processes, such as predator–prey interactions, that are not obtainable through the use of a conventional narrowband high-frequency echosounder or previous broadband systems. A recent study at sea with this system revealed aggregations containing bladdered fish 15–30 cm in length (Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) and silver hake (Merluccius bilinearis)) and a variety of species of smaller fish 2–5 cm in length. These observations infer that the smaller 2–5 cm fish can be colocated in the same aggregations as their predator, the larger silver hake, as well as pre-spawning herring. While this technological advancement provides more information, there remain challenges in interpreting the echo spectra in terms of meaningful biological quantities such as size distribution and species composition.
  • Article
    Broadband acoustic quantification of mixed biological aggregations at the New England shelf break
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2022-10-25) Loranger, Scott ; Jech, Michael J. ; Lavery, Andone C.
    At the New England shelf break, cold, less saline shelf water collides with warmer saltier slope water to form a distinct oceanographic front. During the Office of Naval Research Sediment Characterization Experiment in 2017, the front was mapped by narrowband (18 and 38 kHz) and broadband (70–280 kHz) shipboard echo sounders. The acoustically determined cross-shelf velocity of the front ranged in amplitude from 0.02 to 0.33 m/s. Acoustic surveys revealed aggregations of scatterers near the foot of the front. Acoustic backscatter in conjunction with Northeast Fisheries Science Center bottom trawl surveys identified longfin squid (Doryteuthis pealeii) and mackerel (Scomber scombrus) as the most likely scatterers in the aggregations. A mixed species scattering model was developed and further refined by the use of a matching method used for distribution of the lengths of each species. The mean length of squid and mackerel, respectively, using the matching method was 4.45 ± 1.00 and 20.25 ± 1.25 cm compared with 6.17 ± 2.58 and 22.76 ± 1.50 cm from the trawl data. The estimated total biomass of the aggregation was a factor of 1.64 times larger when using the matching method estimated length distribution compared to the trawl length distribution.
  • Article
    Comparisons among ten models of acoustic backscattering used in aquatic ecosystem research
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2015-12-21) Jech, J. Michael ; Horne, John K. ; Chu, Dezhang ; Demer, David A. ; Francis, David T. I. ; Gorska, Natalia ; Jones, Benjamin A. ; Lavery, Andone C. ; Stanton, Timothy K. ; Macaulay, Gavin J. ; Reeder, D. Benjamin ; Sawada, Kouichi
    Analytical and numerical scatteringmodels with accompanying digital representations are used increasingly to predict acoustic backscatter by fish and zooplankton in research and ecosystem monitoring applications. Ten such models were applied to targets with simple geometric shapes and parameterized (e.g., size and material properties) to represent biological organisms such as zooplankton and fish, and their predictions of acoustic backscatter were compared to those from exact or approximate analytical models, i.e., benchmarks. These comparisons were made for a sphere, spherical shell, prolate spheroid, and finite cylinder, each with homogeneous composition. For each shape, four target boundary conditions were considered: rigid-fixed, pressure-release, gas-filled, and weakly scattering. Target strength (dB re 1 m2) was calculated as a function of insonifying frequency (f = 12 to 400 kHz) and angle of incidence (θ = 0° to 90°). In general, the numerical models (i.e., boundary- and finite-element) matched the benchmarks over the full range of simulation parameters. While inherent errors associated with the approximate analytical models were illustrated, so were the advantages as they are computationally efficient and in certain cases, outperformed the numerical models under conditions where the numerical models did not converge
  • Article
    Exploiting signal processing approaches for broadband echosounders
    (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, 2017-08-28) Lavery, Andone C. ; Bassett, Christopher ; Lawson, Gareth L. ; Jech, J. Michael
    Broadband echosounders, which transmit frequency-modulated pulses, increase the spectral characterization of targets relative to narrowband echosounders, which typically transmit single-frequency pulses, and also increase the range resolution through broadband matched-filter signal processing approaches. However, the increased range resolution does not necessarily lead to improved detection and characterization of targets close to boundaries due to the presence of undesirable signal processing side lobes. The standard approach to mitigating the impact of processing side lobes is to transmit tapered signals, which has the consequence of also reducing spectral information. To address this, different broadband signal processing approaches are explored using data collected in a large tank with both a Kongsberg–Simrad EK80 scientific echosounder with a combination of single- and split-beam transducers with nominal centre frequencies of 18, 38, 70, 120, 200, and 333 kHz, and with a single-beam custom-built echosounder spanning the frequency band from 130 to 195 kHz. It is shown that improved detection and characterization of targets close to boundaries can be achieved by using modified replica signals in the matched filter processing. An additional benefit to using broadband echosounders involves exploiting the frequency dependence of the beam pattern to calibrate single-beam broadband echosounders using an off-axis calibration sphere.
  • Article
    Wideband (15–260 kHz) acoustic volume backscattering spectra of Northern krill (Meganyctiphanes norvegica) and butterfish (Peprilus triacanthus)
    (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, 2017-08-28) Jech, J. Michael ; Lawson, Gareth L. ; Lavery, Andone C.
    Measurements of acoustic backscatter made over a wide frequency band have the potential for improved classification relative to traditional narrowband methods, by characterizing more fully the frequency response of scatterers. In January 2014, five wideband transceivers [Simrad EK80 Wideband Transceivers (WBTs)] and split-beam transducers with nominal centre frequencies of 18, 38, 70, 120, and 200 kHz were used to collect acoustic data spanning a nearly continuous 15–260 kHz bandwidth. The acoustic samples were from ca. 2 m below the surface to the seabed in an area along the US continental shelf break. Bottom trawls and zooplankton nets were also used to sample scatterers contributing to selected features of the acoustic backscatter. Measurements of frequency-dependent volume backscattering strength (i.e. volume backscattering spectra) from aggregations of euphausiids (mostly Northern krill, Meganyctiphanes norvegica) clearly resolved the transition from Rayleigh to geometric scattering, consistent with modelled backscatter from the type and length of animals sampled with bongo nets. Volume backscattering spectra from aggregations dominated by butterfish (Peprilus triacanthus) revealed a frequency response that was suggestive of superimposed scattering by soft tissue and bone. Backscatter predicted by Kirchhoff ray mode models of butterfish corresponded to trends in the measured spectra, supporting the assumption that acoustic scattering by butterfish is dominated by soft tissue and vertebrae.
  • Article
    Protocols for calibrating multibeam sonar
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2005-04) Foote, Kenneth G. ; Chu, Dezhang ; Hammar, Terence R. ; Baldwin, Kenneth C. ; Mayer, Larry A. ; Hufnagle, Lawrence C. ; Jech, J. Michael
    Development of protocols for calibrating multibeam sonar by means of the standard-target method is documented. Particular systems used in the development work included three that provide the water-column signals, namely the SIMRAD SM2000/90- and 200-kHz sonars and RESON SeaBat 8101 sonar, with operating frequency of 240 kHz. Two facilities were instrumented specifically for the work: a sea well at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and a large, indoor freshwater tank at the University of New Hampshire. Methods for measuring the transfer characteristics of each sonar, with transducers attached, are described and illustrated with measurement results. The principal results, however, are the protocols themselves. These are elaborated for positioning the target, choosing the receiver gain function, quantifying the system stability, mapping the directionality in the plane of the receiving array and in the plane normal to the central axis, measuring the directionality of individual beams, and measuring the nearfield response. General preparations for calibrating multibeam sonars and a method for measuring the receiver response electronically are outlined. Advantages of multibeam sonar calibration and outstanding problems, such as that of validation of the performance of multibeam sonars as configured for use, are mentioned.
  • Article
    Exploring the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect animal taxa in the Mesopelagic Zone
    (Frontiers Media, 2021-03-15) Govindarajan, Annette F. ; Francolini, Rene D. ; Jech, J. Michael ; Lavery, Andone C. ; Llopiz, Joel K. ; Wiebe, Peter ; Zhang, Weifeng Gordon
    Animal biodiversity in the ocean’s vast mesopelagic zone is relatively poorly studied due to technological and logistical challenges. Environmental DNA (eDNA) analyses show great promise for efficiently characterizing biodiversity and could provide new insight into the presence of mesopelagic species, including those that are missed by traditional net sampling. Here, we explore the utility of eDNA for identifying animal taxa. We describe the results from an August 2018 cruise in Slope Water off the northeast United States. Samples for eDNA analysis were collected using Niskin bottles during five CTD casts. Sampling depths along each cast were selected based on the presence of biomass as indicated by the shipboard Simrad EK60 echosounder. Metabarcoding of the 18S V9 gene region was used to assess taxonomic diversity. eDNA metabarcoding results were compared with those from net-collected (MOCNESS) plankton samples. We found that the MOCNESS sampling recovered more animal taxa, but the number of taxa detected per liter of water sampled was significantly higher in the eDNA samples. eDNA was especially useful for detecting delicate gelatinous animals which are undersampled by nets. We also detected eDNA changes in community composition with depth, but not with sample collection time (day vs. night). We provide recommendations for applying eDNA-based methods in the mesopelagic including the need for studies enabling interpretation of eDNA signals and improvement of barcode reference databases.