Università degli Studi di Pavia

Centro Interdisciplinare di Bioacustica e Ricerche Ambientali

Via Taramelli 24 - 27100 Pavia - Italy
e-mail : cibra@unipv.it

Bioacoustic Characterization of the Mediterranean Sea

The goals of this project are the classification of species-specific sounds of cetaceans occurring in the Mediterranean Sea and adjacent waters; the understanding of marine mammals' behavior in relation to the sounds they emit, the study of their ecological role and of their habitat use according to local oceanography, the study of their critical habitats and of their sensitivity to human activities, the evaluation and monitoring of noise sources possibly affecting cetacean hearing and behavior, the development of acoustic methods for the detection, monitoring and census of animals.
As ONR is particularly concerned with the effects of underwater sounds on the marine environment, the ultimate goal of the project is to provide scientific data and methodologies for supporting conservation strategies and for the definition and application of Acoustic Risk Mitigation Policies.

Within the project CIBRA collected, by using its own recording and analysis system, a huge amount (more than 2 TB) of digital sound recordings from a number of different sensors (towed arrays, single hydrophones, sonobuoys, bottom deployed recorders). All the recordings are stored in digital formats on hard disk to be easily accessed for listening and analysis. All files are time and georeferenced; spreadsheet indexes and GIS maps with 1 minute time accuracy allow an easy retrieval of interesting cuts based on date and time, sound category or location. The library is now the most important archive in Europe to be used for biological research (species and individual recognition and classification), for developing and testing automatic call recognition programs, for education and training, and also for designing and testing new equipment for sound detection and analysis. The library is now being fed by the underwater test station ONDE within the frame of the NEMO Project.

Sample spectrograms and sound files of mediterranean cetaceans.

The research project is being developed in coordination with the NATO Underwater Research Center (SOLMAR Project), with the cooperation of the Italian Navy and of the Centro Studi Cetacei (CSC).

ONR Grants N00014-99-1-0709, N00014-02-1-0333, and N00014-03-1-0901

Spectrogram of a FM sonar and striped dolphin's whistles and clicks (CIBRA, Ligurian Sea, 1996).

GIS map of strandings of Ziphius cavirostris recorded in the Mediterranean Sea in the last 160 years. This work was mainly made in cooperation with the Natural History Museum of Milan (Italy) within the SOLMAR Project.

Marine Mammal Biology at ONR
ONR Focus on Oceanography
Proceedings of the Workshop on the effects of anthropogenic noise in the marine environment (600K pdf file)

CIBRA Home Page

Updated August 2005