Automatic identification of rainfall in acoustic recordings

BioAcoustica ID: 
Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2017
Authors:Bedoya, C, Isaza, C, Daza, JM, López, JD
Journal:Ecological Indicators
Pagination:95 - 100
Date Published:Jan-04-2017
Keywords:bioacoustics, Environmental monitoring, Precipitation measuremen, Rain detection, Soundscape ecology

The rainfall regime is one of the main abiotic components that can cause modifications in the breeding activity of animal species. It has a direct effect on the environmental conditions, and acts as a modifier of the landscape and soundscape. Variations in water quality and acidity, flooding, erosion, and sound distortion are usually related with the presence of rain. Thereby, ecological studies in populations and communities would benefit from improvements in the estimation of rainfall patterns throughout space and time.

In this paper, a method for automatic detection of rainfall in forests by using acoustic recordings is proposed. This approach is based on the estimation of the mean value and signal to noise ratio of the power spectral density in the frequency band in which the sound of the raindrops falling over the vegetation layers of the forest is more prominent (i.e. 600–1200 Hz). The results of this method were compared with human auditory identification and data provided by a pluviometer. We achieved a correlation of 95.23% between the data provided by the pluviometer and the predictions of a regression model. Furthermore, we attained a general accuracy between 92.90% and 99.98% when identifying different intensity levels of rainfall on recordings.

Nowadays, passive monitoring recorders have been extensively used to study of acoustic-based breeding processes of several animal species. Our method uses the signals acquired by these recorders in order to identify and quantify rainfall events in short and long time spans. The proposed approach will automatically provide information about the rainfall patterns experienced by target species based on audio recordings.

Short Title:Ecological Indicators
Non biological: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith