Listen Live: Orcasound Lab on San Juan Island

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Orcasound Lab on San Juan Island

Orcasound Lab on San Juan IslandThe hydrophone node at Orcasound (the home and laboratory of Dr. Val Viers) is located between Snug Harbor and Andrew's Bay, about 6 kilometers north of the Lime Kiln Lighthouse. Dr. Viers has completed many research projects, hydrophone deploments and repairs since he began working at this site in 2000.

Currently, there are two hydrophones at this site which sit 1 to 2 meters above the gravel bottom about 100 meters offshore. From there, cables travel over the rocky intertidal to a computer.  Dr. Viers wrote custom software for the computer which automatically detects unusual sounds (like orcas) and measures the average sound levels for the area.

Archived Sounds from Orcasound Lab

You can use the above "playlist" to access all archived files. Click on the downward facing arrow to play a file.



View Hydrophone locations in a larger map
Listening Guidance

If you'd like to try recording 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.

Archived sounds are presented using a Flash-based player called Wimpy.