A 13-month time series of Arctic Ocean noise from the marginal ice zone of the Eastern Beaufort Sea is analyzed to detect under-ice acoustic transients isolated from ambient noise with a dedicated algorithm. Noise transients due to ice cracking, fracturing, shearing, and ridging are sorted out into three categories: broadband impulses, frequency modulated (FM) tones, and high-frequency broadband noise. Their temporal and acoustic characteristics over the 8-month ice covered period, from November 2005 to mid-June 2006, are presented and their generation mechanisms are discussed. Correlations analyses showed that the occurrence of these ice transients responded to large-scale ice motion and deformation rates forced by meteorological events, often leading to opening of large-scale leads at main discontinuities in the ice cover. Such a sequence, resulting in the opening of a large lead, hundreds by tens of kilometers in size, along the margin of landfast ice and multiyear ice plume in the Beaufort-Chukchi seas is detailed. These ice transients largely contribute to the soundscape properties of the Arctic Ocean, for both its ambient and total noise components. Some FM tonal transients can be confounded with marine mammal songs, especially when they are repeated, with periods similar to wind generated waves.

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