Hydrophone data

Passive acoustic monitoring on the MARS Cabled Observatory

These recordings represent a growing collection of sounds within the ocean soundscape, as recorded offshore of Monterey Bay, California. They are part of a research and education project that employs a deep-sea observatory to continuously record sounds within and outside the range of human hearing.

Access to the ocean audio recordings and analysis tools

MBARI’s archive of ocean audio recordings from the MARS cabled observatory holds a wealth of information about biological, geophysical, and anthropogenic sound sources in the ocean.

A colorful image showing a plot of frequency over time, with labels for whales, dolphins, boats, wind, and earthquakes.

A day in the life of the MARS soundscape. Warmer colors represent more sound energy at a given time and frequency. Labels identify biological, geophysical, and anthropogenic sound sources.

This archive, along with tutorials for its use, are available through an Open Data project with Amazon Web Services. The original recordings are bulky due to their high sample rate (256 kHz).  Because many applications do not require the full resolution data, we have made the entire archive available as daily files at two levels of decimated resolution (2 kHz and 16 kHz).  Temporal coverage of the recording archive has been 95% since the inception of the Ocean Soundscape project in July 2015, and recording is ongoing. Updates to the AWS archive occur approximately monthly.  Visit the AWS Pacific Sound project to learn more.

Browsing the spectrograms

The table below allows anyone to visually browse spectrograms generated from the MARS hydrophone data.  Simply select the month and year of interest, and all of the hourly spectrograms for that month will be loaded into the viewing panel. The visual browsing does not produce sound; to hear recordings, please visit our Listening Room.

Animation controls are located below the spectrogram viewing panel. You can scroll forward in time (>) or backward (<);  stop scrolling ([]); step forward by one hour at a time (+1) or backward (-1); or restart from the beginning of month (START).