Sounds in the ocean

There are many sources of sound in the ocean, both natural and man-made. Marine mammals, such as the whale, communicate with unique signals underwater. Earthquakes under the seafloor and noise from ship engines form sound waves, which propagate in the sea. Acoustic receivers work like underwater hydrophones and are one of the tools we use for recording and collecting data.

We have expertise in obtaining research data in the sea using sound, so-called acoustic data. By placing hydrophones, we capture sounds in the sea. We can distinguish between different sound sources, such as earthquakes, ships, and animals and so on. Acoustic data can be used for research into, among other things, sea temperature and sea-ice conditions. We study how noise conditions change over time, for shorter or longer periods of time.

The Arctic is melting and will lead to increased activity in the Arctic Ocean, which will in turn produce more natural and man-made sounds under water. More sound and noise can affect marine life. Information about such changes provides important knowledge for future planning and regulation of activities in these particularly vulnerable areas.

For more information, contact research leader Hanne Sagen.


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Client: Research Council of Norway
Project owner: University of Bergen
Project leader at the Nansen Center: Hanne Sagen
Client: European Commission
Project owner: Nansen Center
Project leader at the Nansen Center: Hanne Sagen