DECAF - AUTEC Sperm Whales - Multiple Sensors - Samples

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

Dataset credit



Primary contact Jessica Ward Naval Undersea Warfare Center
Data entry Melissa Soldevilla Duke University



This archive contains data on sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) recorded at the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) in the Tongue of the Ocean, Bahamas in August-September 2007. Data are provided showing when sperm whales were detected on the range during the time period, details about the availability of the acoustic data used in the analysis and finally, the number and size of sperm whale groups localized.
Records in this dataset represent a sample of data used in the sperm whale group localizations. Fifty 10-minute periods were randomly subsampled from the available acoustic files, and clicking animals were localized, where possible. By chance, some 10-minute periods did not contain any sperm whale clicks.


This dataset used multiple hydrophones at AUTEC to detect sperm whale clicks. Click trains from individual whales were identified, enabling the number of diving whales to be estimated. Assuming that all diving sperm whale groups at a given time are detected by AUTEC, then density of diving sperm whales can be estimated.

Supplemental information

Records in this dataset represent the sample of data used in the sperm whale group localizations. Each record represents the detection of a whale on a given hydrophone. A single whale may be heard on multiple hydrophones, as indicated in series.
The related dataset describing when sperm whales were detected on the range is available at

Original data can be downloaded at under Case Study 2: Sperm whale data

Time zone is GMT.
Hydrophone locations are approximate.


Jessica A. Ward, Len Thomas, Susan Jarvis, Nancy DiMarzio, David Moretti, Tiago A. Marques, Charlotte Dunn, Diane Claridge, Eva Hartvig and Peter Tyack. 2012. Passive Acoustic Density Estimation of Sperm Whales in the Tongue of the Ocean, Bahamas. Marine Mammal Science. 28, E444–E455.



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)
station_iddefinition not provided
seriesdefinition not provided
sp_tsnTaxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
sp_obsSpecies name recorded
calldatetimedefinition not provided
obs_dateDate of the recording
obs_timeTime of the recording at UTC
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
depthBotom depth in meters
obs_countGroup size (blank; presence only)
datarowiddefinition not provided
setdefinition not provided
songdefinition not provided
segmentdefinition not provided
secondsindefinition not provided
start_dateStart date
start_day_timedefinition not provided
mmammal_sw_hydsdefinition not provided
hyds_processeddefinition not provided
on_1_off_0_rangedefinition not provided
number_of_whales_present_based_on_chain_evaluationdefinition not provided
hyds_evaluated_with_run_sep__nchains_definition not provided
no_whales_localized_group_1_definition not provided
no_whales_localized_group_2_definition not provided
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
Marine mammals49
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2007-08-17
Date, End2007-09-03
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude24.34 - 24.71
Longitude-77.64 - -77.39
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAcoustic - group size
EffortYES (ID: 681)
Traveled (km)0
Travel hours643
Contr. through
Sharing policy CC-BY (All)
Shared with OBIS
GBIF (via DOI)
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics