ARCTIC OCEAN - Ethan Roth, a research engineer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, prepares to deploy a bottom-moored autonomous acoustic recorder, known as a High-frequency Acoustic Recording Package (HARP), from the Coast Guard Cutter Healy in the Arctic Ocean Sept. 14, 2009.
The 1,100-pound HARP will spend nearly a year on the ocean floor at a depth of almost 1,000 feet measuring ambient noise at its location.
While deployed, a hydrophone will record sounds made by whales, seals and other marine mammals. It also monitors sounds created by movements of ice sheets above and the sea floor below.
This information will be used to help scientists understand the natural sound level in the ocean.
The Healy’s current mission is of part of the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Task Force’s efforts to determine the outer limits of the U.S. continental shelf.