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Sonic Patterns III: Sounds and Vibrations from Soils

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Abstract

Soil is a medium rich in acoustic information. Most of the sounds present in the soil are originated by stridulating animals or are the result of the digging activity of fossorial organisms. Acoustic information from the soil is an important tool for monitoring soil biodiversity in a nondestructive way.

In some reptiles, vibrations produced by prey are used for hunting. Vegetation vibration has been proved to orient fossorial moles toward vegetation clumps rich in insect food. Soil percussion is also a common mechanism used by elephants to communicate at a great distance.

In insects and arthropods, vibrations are used extensively to communicate or to escape predators. Well documented is the case of Diplocardia mississippiensis, an earthworm that emerges from the soil after a vibration is produced in the soil using a “grunting device.” This behavior is explained as a strategy utilized by worms to escape mole hunting.

It is disputed if ants have hearing systems or body vibrational sensing, but their capacity to react to soil vibration is surprisingly rapid. Substrate-borne vibrations are extensively used by animals to locate mates, prey, and predators, as in the well-documented case of antlion larvae.

Despite the scarcity of studies, soil monitoring appears a promising field of research.

Keywords

  • Seismic Signal
  • Acoustic Information
  • Seismic Vibration
  • Digging Activity
  • Airborne Sound

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Farina, A. (2014). Sonic Patterns III: Sounds and Vibrations from Soils. In: Soundscape Ecology. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-7374-5_8

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