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TitleMonitoring fin and blue whales in the Lower St. Lawrence Seaway with onshore seismometers
 
AuthorPlourde, A PORCID logo; Nedimovic, M R
SourceRemote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation 2022 p. 1-13, https://doi.org/10.1002/rse2.261
Image
Year2022
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20210366
PublisherZoological Society of London
Documentserial
Lang.English
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceNew Brunswick; Quebec; Prince Edward Island
NTS11M; 11N; 21N; 21O; 21P; 22A; 22B; 22C; 22F; 22G; 22H; 22I; 22J; 22K; 12C; 12D; 12E; 12F; 12K; 12L
Lat/Long WENS -70.0000 -61.0000 51.0000 47.0000
Subjectsmarine geology; Nature and Environment; Science and Technology; conservation; marine organisms; marine environments; seismology; Whales
Illustrationslocation maps; spectrograms; schematic diagrams; tables; plots
ProgramMarine Geoscience for Marine Spatial Planning
Released2022 03 21
AbstractThe Lower St. Lawrence Seaway (LSLS), in eastern Canada, is an important habitat for several species of endangered baleen whale. As we seek to reduce the hazards that these endangered species face from human activity, there is increasing demand for detailed knowledge of their habitat use. Only a sparse network of hydrophones exists in the LSLS to remotely observe whales. However, there is also a network of onshore seismometers, designed to monitor earthquakes, that have sufficiently high sample rates to record fin and blue whale calls. We present a simple method for detecting band-limited, regularly repeating calls, such as the 20 Hz calls of fin and blue whales, and apply the method to build a catalog of fin and blue whale detections at 14 onshore seismometers across the LSLS, over approximately a 4-year period. The resulting catalog contains over 600 000 fin whale calls and almost 60 000 blue whale calls. Individual calls are rarely detected at more than one seismometer. Fin whale calls recorded onshore often consist of multiple seismic phases arriving as a ?2 sequence. Onshore seismometers provide a valuable, previously unused source of data for monitoring baleen whales. However, in the LSLS, the current seismometer network cannot provide high-precision whale tracking alone, so a denser deployment of onshore and/or offshore seismometers is required.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The Lower St. Lawrence Seaway (LSLS), in eastern Canada, is an important habitat for several endangered species of baleen whale. Demand for precise whale location data is increasing as policy makers aim to protect whales from vessel strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, and noise pollution. The LSLS has a network of onshore seismometers designed to monitor earthquakes that could in principle record fin and blue whale calls, but this has never been observed. We present a simple method for detecting fin and blue whale calls, apply the method at 14 seismometers across the LSLS over a four-year period, and produce a catalog containing >600000 fin whale calls and >60000 blue whale calls. Fin whale calls arriving at seismometers appear to travel mainly through solid earth, rather than only entering the earth at the shoreline. Onshore seismometers provide a valuable, previously unused source of data for monitoring large whales. However, in the LSLS, we cannot achieve high-precision whale locations without a denser network of onshore and/or offshore sensors.
GEOSCAN ID329107

 
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