[microsound] sound and ecology

Michael Palace palace at guero.sr.unh.edu
Tue Jul 20 12:23:19 EDT 2010

Also a collaborator and I are seeking funding for this unique idea.  
Sound recordings of bubble in bogs.

Briefly, we are developing a unique approach to identifying the 
ebullitive events that occur in both flooded ecosystems and lakes. 
Ebuillition or bubbling represents one of the pathways for methane to be 
released from aquatic environments, bypassing the mitigating effects of 
oxidation. The extent of bubbling both in the frequency and magnitude of 
events is still not well characterized in both northern and tropical 
ecosystems. In recent research here at my field site in NH, we have 
observed ebullition events with an autochamber system equipped with a 
laser CH4 analyzer. We have observed distinct diel patterns in 
ebullition and also more frequent events than is reported in the 
literature. These results have many implications but the most important 
for climate feedbacks is that we are underestimating the flux of methane 
from these ecosystems by as much as 40%.  

Since coupled autochamber and laser systems are not easily deployed in 
remote locations, we have been thinking about a more portable, 
less-expensive sensing system. We have been testing the use of sound to 
identify ebullitive events. Simply attaching a submersible microphone to 
a plate that will resonate when the bubble impacts its surface gives us 
enough signal to identify the frequency of events  and has the potential 
to give us the size of the bubbles, a mechanism to sample them for 
chemical analysis and therefore a way to estimate the mass of CH4 that 
is released through this transport process. Deploying these systems in a 
variety of wetlands and aquatic systems would then give us the data to 
determine patterns in and controls in emission and then allow us to 
incorporate the behavior into process-based models of greenhouse gas 

Mike Palace

Tobias Reber wrote:
> dear all,
> i'm currently working for a local WWF division and, when they learned 
> about what I do, was asked to collect material and links on sound in 
> an ecological context, meaning:
> - sound design / acoustic identity work for agents like WWF, 
> Greenpeace etc
> - sound art as pedagogy
> - sound and/or media art using natural processes, from aeolian harp to 
> works using digital technologies
> - field recording
> - noise pollution
> - acoustic ecology
> - etc
> i think i know at least the basics of each field but need as much 
> examples as i can get.
> any hint to interesting work is appreciated. thanks a lot!
> tobias
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