A semi-automated method is described to range to vocalizing fin whales using the timing and amplitude of multipath arrivals measured on seafloor receivers. Calls are detected and multipath arrivals identified with a matched filter. Multipath times and relative amplitudes are predicted as a function of range by ray tracing. Because the direct and first water-column multiple arrivals are not always observed, different hypotheses for the observed arrival paths must be considered. For two arrivals, an amplitude threshold is used to determine if the first arrival is the direct path and if not, the call is disregarded as distant. When three or more arrivals are detected, three hypotheses for the paths of arrivals are considered; the solution is the hypothesis and range that minimizes the timing and optionally, amplitude ratio or absolute amplitude residual. The method is tested with data from two ocean bottom seismometers, one on the Juan de Fuca Ridge and the other in the Cascadia Basin. Solutions obtained by minimizing a combined residual from timing and an empirical absolute amplitude model extracted from the data yield reliable ranges up to 5 km at both sites, and are sufficient to estimate call density using point transect distance sampling.
Estimating range to a vocalizing fin whale using the timing and amplitude of multipath arrivals
Michelle J. Weirathmueller, William S. D. Wilcock, Rose S. Hilmo; Estimating range to a vocalizing fin whale using the timing and amplitude of multipath arrivals. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 October 2017; 142 (4): 2101–2120. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.5005494
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