Studying ice-ocean interactions with underwater noise

The project aims to better understand ice-ocean interactions using ambient noise oceanography. There are three major objectives involved: (1) to link glacial and sea-ice processes with the associated underwater sounds, (2) to enable future, long-term acoustic monitoring of the ice loss, and (3) to develop cryoacoustics as a new tool in glaciology.

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Project type

  • field work
  • remote sensing
  • modelling


  • cryosphere
  • oceanography
  • technology and engineering

Project Keywords

  • cryosphere / glaciers/ice sheets / glaciers
  • cryosphere / glaciers/ice sheets / icebergs
  • oceans / ocean acoustics / ambient noise
  • oceans / ocean acoustics / acoustic attenuation/transmission

Fieldwork information

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Ambient noise oceanography uses naturally generated sounds to get insight into the ocean environment, including marine life and physical processes. The project aims to quantify ice-ocean interactions through the analysis of the underwater noise. The major goals are: to develop cryoacoustics as a new tool in glaciology and to better understand and monitor glacial and sea ice processes and properties. Methodological and technical advances are key components of the project due to the novelty of the approach. Several milestones have been already reached. For example, the kinetic energy of icebergs falling onto the ocean surface was found to be highly correlated with the associated noise emission. Consequently, it has been demonstrated that calving fluxes can be estimated from the underwater noise of the iceberg/water impact.

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