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Title: 200 kHz Commercial Sonar Systems Generate Lower Frequency Side Lobes Audible to Some Marine Mammals

The spectral properties of pulses transmitted by three commercially available 200 kHz echo sounders were measured to assess the possibility that sound energy in below the center (carrier) frequency might be heard by marine mammals. The study found that all three sounders generated sound at frequencies below the center frequency and within the hearing range of some marine mammals and that this sound was likely detectable by the animals over limited ranges. However, at standard operating source levels for the sounders, the sound below the center frequency was well below potentially harmful levels. It was concluded that the sounds generated by the sounders could affect the behavior of marine mammals within fairly close proximity to the sources and that that the blanket exclusion of echo sounders from environmental impact analysis based solely on the center frequency output in relation to the range of marine mammal hearing should be reconsidered.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: PLoS One, 9(4):e95315
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Sonar; killer whales