DECAF - PMFR Minke Whales - Multiple Sensor - Manual Boing Detections

Density Estimation of Cetaceans from passive Acoustic Fixed sensors (DECAF)

Dataset credit



Primary contact Steve Martin SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific
Data entry Melissa Soldevilla Duke University



This data set consists of manually detected boings from multiple hydrophones off the northwest of Kauai, Hawaii. Boings were detected utilizing visual displays of signal spectrograms and time series along with aural monitoring. The boings have a distinctive sound character with major energy in the 1.4kHz area. These manual detections provided information necessary in order to assess performance of the automated boing detector and to help understand how to better automatically detect, associate and localize boing sound source locations. Manual validation of automatic processes is much more efficient (in time and dollars) than the total manual effort such as performed in this data set and the manual localization data set # 675.

This analysis was conducted by James Yosco (Science Applications International Corporation. Times are in GMT. Hydrophone locations are only approximate.

The detailed results of the analysis are available at the DECAF web site shown in the supplemental information section.


This dataset used multiple hydrophones at PMRF, Kauai, Hawaii, to localize minke whale boing vocalizations manually. This was a precursor to development of automated detection algorithms and automated association processes. This data set provided a quasi ground truth for development and performance assessment of the minke boing detector developed in the DECAF project. The ultimate purpose of the project was to estimate the density of the boing vocalizations in order to gain more understanding of the minke whale presence in Hawaiian waters. In order to estimate density of whales, the average boing rate of a minke whale is required.

Hydrophone locations are only approximate.

This data represents call detections - individual animals may make multiple calls.

Supplemental information

This dataset is part of a larger project examining Balaenoptera acutorostrata (minke whale) vocalizations at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF). Related datasets include: 1) Results from a prior manual detection ( and manual localization ( of 24 boing sources; 2) Results of automated boing detections for 14 hydrophones over 12 days in early 2006 (; and 3) Results for boing associations over an exploratory 1 hr of data (ten min each from three separate days in Mar 2006 and two separate days in Apr 2007) and for 2 hrs of sample data from 12 days of data in Feb, Mar, Apr of 2006 ( ).

Original data can be downloaded at under Case Study 1b: Minke whale data.

Observed call types labeled cries and chirps in the downloaded data represent boings.


Mellinger, D.K, Martin, S.W., Morrissey, R.P., Thomas, L., and Yosco, J. 2011. A method for detecting whistles, moans and other frequency contour sounds. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. Vol. 129, Issue 6, pp. 4055-4061.
Martin, S., T. Marques, L. Thomas, R. Morrissey, S. Jarvis, N. DiMarzio, D. Moretti & D. Mellinger. 2013. Estimating minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) boing vocalization density using passive acoustic sensors. Marine Mammal Science. 29, 142–158.



This section explains attributes included in the original dataset. OBIS-SEAMAP restricts the attributes available to the public to date/time, lat/lon and species names/counts only. Should you need other attributes described here, you are encouraged to contact the data provider.

Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
All attributes are included in the downloadable file (CSV or ESRI File Geodatabase) for "Complete Set of Dataset".

Attributes in dataset

Attribute (table column)Description
oidUnique ID number (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
filenamedefinition not provided
file_start_date_timedefinition not provided
tenminsetnumberdefinition not provided
timedefinition not provided
phone_numberdefinition not provided
sp_obsSpecies name
obs_countdefinition not provided
event_typedefinition not provided
frequency_area_khzdefinition not provided
occurancedefinition not provided
durationdefinition not provided
localization__degrees_k_ftdefinition not provided
otherdefinition not provided
comments_or_localizationdefinition not provided
noisedefinition not provided
sp_tsnTaxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
obs_timeTime of the detection
tenminsetstartdatetimedefinition not provided
obs_dateDate of the detection
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
Marine mammals408
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2006-02-25
Date, End2006-06-16
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude22.33 - 22.82
Longitude-160.03 - -159.90
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAcoustic - #call
EffortYES (ID: 667)
Traveled (km)0
Travel hours29
Contr. through
Sharing policy CC-BY (All)
Shared with None
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See metadata in FGDC XML
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