What natural science says about echolocation.

Echolocation appear in the game to warn you when you get to close to for instance rocks or the heat of black smokers. Some animal species use echolocation for orientation.

Whales and dolphins (collectively called cetaceans) cannot rely on their vision only to communicate or forage. Instead they use sound to explore their water world. Dolphins produce click-sounds and when an echolocation click strikes a target  (such as a fish) a proportion of the click bounces back and is detected by the dolphin. The dolphin can work out how far away the fish is from the time it takes the click that was sent out to return.  If the dolphin keeps producing clicks and receiving the echos, it will get information back about the speed and direction that the fish is moving. An echolocating dolphin can detect a 2.5cm object from 72 metres away! If the dolphin is far from the target it will produce clicks at a slow rate. The closer the dolphin gets to a target, the faster the clicks bounce back and the faster the dolphin sends out more clicks to detect the object the clicks are bouncing off. (Source: http://www.cbmwc.org/education/echo.asp)

Echolocation is also part of the deep sea research tool kit in the MAR-ECO project

Echosounders are the “eyes” of the marine scientists


Lowering the echosounder to a thousand metres depth. Cruise journal June 9, 2004

Findings by help of the echosounder. Cruise journal June 15, 2004

Other websites on echolocation

About toothed whales’ echolocation on wikipedia

About echolocation at “How stuff works”