Single-sensor Density Estimation of Highly Broadband Marine Mammal Calls

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Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

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Toothed whales, Echolocation -- Physiology, Sonar -- Analysis


Odontocete echolocation clicks have been used as a preferred cue for density estimation studies from single-sensor data sets. Such sounds are broadband in nature, with 10-dB bandwidths of 20 to 40 kHz or more. Estimating their detection probability is one of the main requirements of density estimation studies. For single-sensor data, detection probability is estimated using the sonar equation to simulate received signal-to-noise ratio of thousands of click realizations. A major problem with such an approach is that the passive sonar equation is a continuous-wave (CW) analysis tool (single-frequencies). Using CW analysis with a click’s center frequency while disregarding its bandwidth has been shown to introduce bias to detection probabilities and hence to population estimates. In this study, the methodology used to estimate detection probabilities is re-evaluated, and the bias in sonarequation density estimates is quantified by using a synthetic data set. A new approach based on the calculation of arrivals and subsequent convolution with a click source function is also presented. Application of the new approach to the synthetic data set showed accurate results. Further complexities of density estimation studies are illustrated with a data set containing highly broadband false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) clicks.


© 2015 Acoustical Society of America

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