Propagation of Beluga Echolocation Signals
The beluga or white whale (Delphinapterus leucas) is very vociferous and one of the first Cetacea to have its underwater sound emissions recorded (Schevill and Lawrence, 1949). Gurevich and Evans (1976) trained a blindfolded beluga to discriminate between complex targets presented in pairs, and found that the animal typically emitted echolocation signals with peak frequencies close to 40 kHz, and secondary peaks at 80 and 120 kHz. Kamminga and Wiersma (1981) reported that belugas in a tank emitted clicks in pairs. The first click typically had peak frequencies close to 60 kHz and the second click had peak frequencies around 1.6 kHz. Au et al. (1985) measured the echolocation signal of a beluga in San Diego Bay and later in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Typical peak frequencies measured in Kaneohe Bay were between 100 and 120 kHz, approximately an octave higher than the 40 to 60 kHz measured in San Diego Bay. Signal intensities measured in Kaneohe Bay were at least 18 dB higher than in San Diego Bay. Au et al. (1985) attributed the beluga’s use of high intensity and high frequency signals to the high ambient noise environment of Kaneohe Bay.
KeywordsSound Pressure Level Bottlenose Dolphin Beam Pattern Beluga Whale White Whale
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