IEEE Oceans Singapore

Soundscaping using a smart cable prototype off the coast of Portugal

R.J. Duarte, F. Zabel, A. Silva and S.M. Jesus
LARSyS, University of Algarve, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal

Comments: pdf
Ref.: OCEANS MTS/IEEE, Singapore, April 2024

Ocean soundscaping is an important tool to monitor ocean noise and to understand how it may impact marine life. A promising approach is the exploration of the SMART cable concept that relies on the use of a telecommunication cable equipped with environmental sensors, allowing for ocean real-time monitoring. The K2D project developed a set of cable nodes with extended SMART capabilities. These nodes were tested on a short telecommunication cable deployed off the coast of Sesimbra, Portugal. In this sea trial, several ocean variables were gathered, including underwater sound that was used to characterize the region’s soundscape. Three types of analysis were conducted: a) the evaluation of the usual noise level baseline for all nodes, b) an attempt of sound source identification through frequency band analysis, and c) the evaluation of the noise level in different periods of the day. The results show that node 1 (the closest to shore) has higher noise levels and no significant difference between day and night periods in the frequency bands between 100 Hz and 1 kHz. No biological signatures were identified in the recorded data. Comparing the three nodes’ locations, the results suggest that the area where node 1 was deployed is the most affected by (coastal) ship traffic.

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