Date of Award

Fall 12-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Applied Physics



Major Professor

Ioup, Juliette

Second Advisor

Georgiou, Ioannis

Third Advisor

Puri, Ashok

Fourth Advisor

Malkinski, Leszek


The Littoral Acoustic Demonstration Center has collected passive acoustic monitoring data in the northern Gulf of Mexico since 2001. Recordings were made in 2007 near the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that provide a baseline for an extensive study of regional marine mammal populations in response to the disaster. Animal density estimates can be derived from detections of echolocation signals in the acoustic data. Beaked whales are of particular interest as they remain one of the least understood groups of marine mammals, and relatively few abundance estimates exist. Efficient methods for classifying detected echolocation transients are essential for mining long-term passive acoustic data. In this study, three data clustering routines using k-means, self-organizing maps, and spectral clustering were tested with various features of detected echolocation transients. Several methods effectively isolated the echolocation signals of regional beaked whales at the species level. Feedforward neural network classifiers were also evaluated, and performed with high accuracy under various noise conditions. The waveform fractal dimension was tested as a feature for marine biosonar classification and improved the accuracy of the classifiers. [This research was made possible by a grant from The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. Data are publicly available through the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information & Data Cooperative (GRIIDC) at] [DOIs: 10.7266/N7W094CG, 10.7266/N7QF8R9K]


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License