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Marine soundscapes

CMST has been recording the Australian marine soundscape since 1998 and manages the underwater acoustic observatories of Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS). The Centre monitors ambient ocean noise; acoustically tracks vocalising animals such as whales; measures and predicts underwater noise produced from industrial operations such as seismic surveys, pile driving and shipping; and provides state-of-the-art modelling of sound propagation. Research in acoustic ecology includes communication and hearing in marine animals, and the impacts of underwater noise on marine animals. The Centre has the only Australian program in hearing models of marine megafauna.

CMST’s research assets include:

  • Multi-terabyte database documenting seasonal, geographic and temporal variability of Australian marine soundscapes
  • Autonomous underwater acoustic recorders designed and built at CMST
  • Two commercial seismic airguns for controlled exposure studies
  • Publicly available software for modelling sound emission & propagation, and for automated analysis of acoustic data
  • CMST manages the Passive Acoustic Observatories of Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System
  • Mobile auditory brainstem response system for measuring hearing in marine animals
Underwater soundscape recorded in the Perth Canyon

Underwater soundscape recorded in the Perth Canyon

CMST noise logger deployed on the seafloor
CMST ute loaded with underwater noise loggers and mooring