Underwater Soundscape of Cambridge Bay

Jeannette Bedard1, Svein Vagle2, Stan E Dosso3, Dr. Richard K Dewey, Ph.D.4 and Michael G Morley1, (1)Ocean Networks Canada, Victoria, BC, Canada, (2)Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney, BC, Canada, (3)Univ of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada, (4)Univ. of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada
Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), an initiative of the University of Victoria, operates a cabled seafloor observatory in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut that has been providing near real-time data time from a variety of instruments since 2013. Using hydrophone recordings combined with ice measurements, CTD, and meteorological data, a year-long study of the underwater soundscape was conducted over 2015. Unlike other Arctic locations considered to date, this site was louder when covered in ice with the loudest times occurring in April. Sounds of anthropogenic origin were found to dominate the soundscape with about ten times more snowmobile traffic on ice than open water boat traffic. The bay was quietest during the ice-break up in July, possibly because it was unsafe for both snowmobiles and boats. Over the course of the year precipitation, wind and ice noise were the other major contributors to the underwater soundscape and non-human biological sources were not significant.