The intensity, directionality, and statistics of underwater noise from melting icebergs

TitleThe intensity, directionality, and statistics of underwater noise from melting icebergs
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsGlowacki O., Deane GB, Moskalik M.
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Date Published2018/05
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0094-8276
Accession NumberWOS:000434111700040
Keywordsambient; ambient noise; budget; fjord; Geology; glacier; greenland ice-sheet; ice melting; iceberg; marine-terminating glaciers; melt rate; noise oceanography; signal; underwater acoustics

Freshwater fluxes from melting icebergs and glaciers are important contributors to both sea level rise and anomalies of seawater salinity in polar regions. However, the hazards encountered close to icebergs and glaciers make it difficult to quantify their melt rates directly, motivating the development of cryoacoustics as a remote sensing technique. Recent studies have shown a qualitative link between ice melting and the accompanying underwater noise, but the properties of this signal remain poorly understood. Here we examine the intensity, directionality, and temporal statistics of the underwater noise radiated by melting icebergs in Hornsund Fjord, Svalbard, using a three-element acoustic array. We present the first estimate of noise energy per unit area associated with iceberg melt and demonstrate its qualitative dependence on exposure to surface current. Finally, we show that the analysis of noise directionality and statistics makes it possible to distinguish iceberg melt from the glacier terminus melt.

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