Underwater Ambient Noise in Kongsfjorden, Spitsbergen, during the Summers of 2015 and 2016

  • Muthuraj Ashokan
  • Ganesan Latha
  • Ayyadurai Thirunavukkarasu
Keywords: Arctic; IndARC; noise; summer; Kongsfjorden; Iceberg; bubbling; melting; shipping


Underwater ambient noise was measured in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, during the summers of 2015 and 2016 to understand the contribution of iceberg bubbling, iceberg calving, and shipping noise to the acoustic environment of the fjord. Comparison of the ambient noise data for the months of August, September, and October showed that average noise levels were similar, although the average noise level for 2015 was ~9 dB higher than in 2016 because of higher shipping noise. Maximum ambient noise was produced at frequencies less than 10 kHz during both summers. Spectrograms of iceberg calving noise showed that it occurred in the frequency below 500 Hz. Shipping noise was seen in the band below 600 Hz, and iceberg bubbling noise was detected in the band above 400 Hz. Instrument noise was observed in the frequency 400 Hz. It is clear that ice breaking and shipping contribute substantially to ambient noise in Kongsfjorden.