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Detecting marine mammal vocalizations in underwater acoustic environments and classifying them to species level is typically an arduous manual analysis task for skilled bioacousticians. In recent years, machine learning and other automated algorithms have been explored for quickly detecting and classifying all sound sources in an ambient acoustic environment, but many of these still require a large training dataset compiled through time-intensive manual pre processing. Here, we present a new application of the signal decomposition technique Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD), that does not require a priori knowledge and quickly detects all sound sources in a given recording. The EMD detection process extracts all possible signals in a dataset for minimal quality control post-processing before moving onto the second phase: the EMD classification process. The EMD classification process uniquely identifies and labels all sound sources in a given environment. Thirty-five recordings containing different marine mammal species and mooring hardware noises were tested with the new EMD detection and classification processes. Ultimately, these processes can be applied to acoustic index development and refinement.
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