DECAF - AUTEC Beaked Whales - Single Sensor case study

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

Dataset credit



Primary contact Elizabeth Kusel
Data entry Melissa Soldevilla Duke University



These data were used to characterize the performance of the automatic detector. A 6-minute recording from hydrophone 57 was manually checked for beaked whale clicks. This 6-minute section was part of the main 6-day dataset used in the case study. The automatic detector was used on the same sound file, and the results compared. For each manually detected click, the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was calculated, the quality of the click was judged and it was noted whether or not the click was detected by the automatic detector.


This case study used a single hydrophone at AUTEC to estimate density of beaked whales around the sensor, based on counts of detected beaked whale clicks. Using propagation modelling, information about the source level of the clicks and characteristics of the automatic click detector, the effective detection radius around the hydrophone was estimated. Together with information about clicking rates of beaked whales, this enabled density of beaked whales around the hydrophone to be estimated.

Supplemental information

Time zone is GMT. Note hydrophone location is approximate.

Original data can be downloaded at under Case Study 4a: Beaked whale data

The sound file can be downloaded at
(click the 'from the Bahamas: AUTEC' under the Blainville's Beaked Whale, Mesoplodon densirostris, subheading).

Sound file name: Set4-A5-092705-H57-0600-0618-1435-1453loc_filter.wav.


Küsel, E. T., D. K. Mellinger, L. Thomas, T. Marques, D. Moretti & J. Ward. 2011. Method for cetacean density estimation from single fixed sensors using passive acoustics. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 129: 3610-3622.



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
oidOBIS-SEAMAP dataset ID
obs_dateObservation date (GMT)
obs_timeObservation time (GMT)
obs_countNumber of calls
sp_tsnITIS species code
sp_obsSpecies observed
hydrophonedefinition not provided
latitudeApproximate hydrophone latitude
longitudeApproximate hydrophone longitude
depthApproximate hydrophone depth
enddatedefinition not provided
endtimedefinition not provided
geomdefinition not provided
Marine mammals1
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2005-09-27
Date, End2005-09-27
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude24.50 - 24.50
Longitude-77.59 - -77.59
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAcoustic - #call
EffortYES (ID: 721)
Traveled (km)0
Travel hours0
Contr. through
Sharing policy CC-BY (All)
Shared with None
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics