Map of SIRENA Project

Map showing the cruise track and hydrophone deployment sites for the SIRENA project. Click image for larger view.

SIRENA Expedition

Seismic Investigation by REcording of acoustic waves in the North Atlantic

May 17 - June 4, 2002

audio icon Listen to Chief Scientist Chris Fox discuss the mysteries of sound in the sea during an interview broadcast on BBC exit icon. (Select programme three. Requires Real Player.)

On May 17, 2002, scientists from both sides of the Atlantic sailed from Ponta Delgada in the Portugese Azores on the French research vessel Le Suroit to deploy six continuously recording hydrophones around the Mid-Atlantic Ridge north of the Azores. Unlike the Pioneer Seamount Acoustic Observatory, these acoustic data will not be available in real time. But when the instruments are recovered next summer and their onboard data are analyzed, this important region of the global ocean will be "acoustically explored" for the first time.

Expected activity includes earthquakes from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, possibly volcanic activity from the ridge and Iceland, large whale calls, especially blue whales and humpback whales, and new measurements of the noise impact of oil exploration around the Atlantic Basin. Some new phenomena that could be present in the data include landslides along the massive continental slopes around the North Atlantic or the sound of catastrophic release of submarine methane hydrates from these margins. Also, the array will be within range of permanent glaciers on Greenland and may be able to detect sounds associated with ice processes in that region.

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