Quantifying the contribution of ship noise to the underwater sound field
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The ambient sound field in the ocean can be decomposed into a linear combination of two independent fields attributable to wind-generated wave action at the surface and noise radiated by ships. The vertical coherence (the cross-spectrum normalized by the power spectra) and normalized directionality of wind-generated noise in the ocean are stationary in time, do not vary with source strength and spectral characteristics, and depend primarily on the local sound speed and the geoacoustic properties which define the propagation environment. The contribution to the noise coherence due to passing vessels depends on the range between the source and receiver, the propagation environment, and the effective bandwidth of the characteristic source spectrum. Using noise coherence models for both types of the sources, an inversion scheme is developed for the relative and absolute contribution of frequency dependent ship noise to the total sound field. A month-long continuous ambient sound recording collected on a pair of vertically aligned hydrophones near Alvin Canyon at the New England shelf break is decomposed into time-dependent ship noise and wind-driven noise power spectra. The processing technique can be used to quantify the impact of human activity on the sound field above the natural dynamic background noise, or to eliminate ship noise from a passive acoustic monitoring data set.
Author Posting. © Acoustical Society of America, 2020. This article is posted here by permission of Acoustical Society of America for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 148(6), (2020): 3863-3872, https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0002922.