DECAF - PMFR Minke Whales - Multiple Sensor - Automated 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



The recordings used for the main case study came from 12 separate days in 2006, each with ~14 hours of recordings for a total of ~ 167 hours of data. The days were: Feb 5, 21 and 25; Mar 5, 9, 13, 17, 25, and 29; and April 2, 6 and 18. An automatic detector (see Mellinger ref) was run on the whole dataset, across all hydrophones. The DECAF minke study ended up utilizing 14 of the northern hydrophones from the instrumented range at the Pacific Missile Range Facility located off the North West part of Kauai, Hawaii.

The DECAF minke study initially utilized the 16 northern hydrophones of the BSURE range at PMRF. The sixteen hydrophones are designated 44-51 and 53-60. The two southernmost hydrophones were not utilized in the full data set analysis due to issues with the number of detections relative to the other hydrophones. It is unclear if the lower detection rate is due to lower density of animals closer to shore in shallower water, or due to other effects such as higher noise levels from Humpback whale song, or the sloped bathymetry at the southern phones. These hydrophones provide suitable bandwidth for detection of the minke boing vocalization with primary energy around 1,400 Hz.

Times are in GMT.
Hydrophone locations are only approximate.
This data represents call detections - individual animals may make multiple calls.
conducted by James Yosco (Science Applications International Corporation)


This dataset used multiple hydrophones at PMRF, Kauai, Hawaii, to detect minke whale boing vocalizations. The entire recorded data was processed by the Marine mammal monitoring on Navy Ranges (M3R) system which results in these automated boing detections. Boing density estimation was estimated utilizing both these automated boing detections across the entire 167 hr data set in conjunction with an analysis of a sampled sub-set of this data for boing associations (data set 664). In order to estimate density of whales, the average boing rate of a minke whale is required.

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.


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.
Mellinger, D.K., S. Martin, R. Morrissey, L. Thomas, and J. Yosco. 2011. A method for detecting whistles, moans, and other frequency contour sounds. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. Volume 129, Issue 6, pp. 4055-4061.



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)
obs_dateDate of the detection
obs_timeTime of the detection
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
hydrophonedefinition not provided
sp_tsnTaxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
obs_countdefinition not provided
sp_obsSpecies name
obs_calltypedefinition not provided
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
Marine mammals192
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2006-02-05
Date, End2006-04-18
Temporal prec.111110
Latitude22.33 - 22.82
Longitude-160.03 - -159.90
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAcoustic - #call
EffortYES (ID: 669)
Traveled (km)0
Travel hours2,672
Contr. through
Sharing policy CC-BY (All)
Shared with None
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics