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As part of an ongoing project to establish a reference facility for acoustic cavitation at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), carefully controlled studies on a 25 kHz, 1.8 kW cylindrical vessel are described. Using a patented high-frequency acoustic emission detection method and a sonar hydrophone, results are presented of the spatial variation of inertial acoustic cavitation with increasing peak-negative pressure. Results show that at low operating levels, inertial acoustic cavitation is restricted to, and is strongly localized on, the vessel axis. At intermediate power settings, inertial acoustic cavitation also occurs close to the vessel walls, and at higher settings, a complex spatial variation is seen that is not apparent in measurements of the 25 kHz driving field alone. At selected vessel locations, a systematic investigation of the inertial cavitation threshold is described. This was carried out by making simultaneous measurements of the peak-negative pressures leading to inertial cavitation and the resultant MHz-frequency emissions, and indicates an inertial cavitation threshold of 101 kPa plusmn 14% (estimated expanded uncertainty). However, an intermediate threshold at 84 kPa plusmn 14% (estimated expanded uncertainty) is also seen. The results are discussed alongside theoretical predictions and recent experimental findings.