Welcome to the Salish Sea hydrophone network

Listen to the Orcasound hydrophone

(Click above link to listen to the live Shoutcast stream with iTunes or Winamp.)

The hydrophone node at Orcasound (the home and laboratory of Dr. Val Veirs) is located between Snug Harbor and Andrew's Bay, ~6km N of the Lime Kiln Lighthouse. The node hosts an array of 4-8 hydrophones that stretch ~200m along shore at depths of 5-20m. There have been multiple hydrophone deployments, repairs, and acoustic research projects at Orcasound, beginning in about 2000.

The current dual-hydrophone system consists of two ITC hydrophones with custom pre-amps mounted on PVC tripods 1-2 m above the gravel bottom. Cables traverse the rocky intertidal within iron protectors and then run ~100m to a data-logging and streaming computer. Custom software written in Visual Basic by Val Veirs assesses average underwater sound levels and automatically detects "unusual" sounds. The stream is distributed by spacialnet.com for $23/month.

Archived sounds from Orcasound

Each sound file (.mp3 format) is named with year, month, day, start time, end-time, and duration encoded in the file name. The date format is YYMMDD, start/end times are 24-hr format (PDT time zone), and the duration format is HHMMSS. These sounds are presented using a Flash-based player called Wimpy...

File name Description
071020_0936-1700_071622_os_JKL.mp3 Very long recording with clear initial calls that become increasingly faint. Calls are audible for a long time (~2h) and the recording includes a variety of vessel noises. (Recording may not be continuous due to software/storage issues.)
071020_1800-1831_003109_os_JKL.mp3 Great calls and clicks from multiple pods with low background noise
071020_1832-1954_012137_os_JKL.mp3 Great calls and clicks from multiple pods with low background noise
080401_1438-1500_004255_os_J.mp3 Call and clicks during an early spring visit by J pod with intermittent boat noise (and ship noise at the end)

Other links:

The real-time streams and the Salish Sea hydrophone network are brought to you by these current Network members:
Beam Reach Marine Science and Sustainability School
Colorado College Physics and Environmental Science Departments
Orca Network
Port Townsend Marine Science Center
Orca Behavior Institute
Cetacean Research Technologies

The Network was expanded from 2006-2012 with generous support from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Other major funding has come from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Beam Reach, and Cornell University (Chuck Greene). We are working to diversify our sources of support and build resiliency into the network. If you would like to contribute financially, please consider making a donation:

Listening guidance

To listen to these links, you must be able to receive ShoutCast streams. iTunes will do the job (on Mac or Windows computers) for free, though you may need to copy the link and paste it in "Open Audio Stream" under the "Advanced" menu. Another Windows solution is the free player from Winamp.

You can also try to record the streams when you hear something that interests you. We recommend Stream Ripper (free, open source, all platforms). If you'd like to explore underwater listening even further (including sound analysis and contributions to citizen science projects), then consider taking on a Beam Reach externship in bioacoustics.

Don't hesitate to contact us if you'd like to make your recording available to the listening community by having us publish it on this web site. In any case, please abide by the Creative Commons license

Contact: Val Veirs Contact: Scott Veirs

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Other marine audio live streams

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Creative Commons License
Hydrophone network sounds by http://orcasound.net is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.