What Activities Cause Underwater Noise?
- Pile Driving
- Marine Vessel Operation
- Underwater Blasting
- Military Sonar
- Oil Exploration
- Port and Coastal Development
What are the Regulations Surrounding Underwater Noise?
In the United States, underwater noise regulations are set by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Research by NMFS has determined acceptable noise thresholds for different types of underwater creatures. Regulations currently apply to two broad
classes of underwater life: fish and marine mammals. When seeking permits for underwater construction projects, it is critical to understand the need to monitor and limit underwater noise levels. Technical guidance can be found in this NOAA Technical
Memorandum. To simplify these measurements, Larson Davis has created a highly portable and easy-to-use Marine Mammal Noise Monitoring System based on SoundAdvisor Sound Level Meter Model 831C.
Internationally, underwater noise is recognized as a problem by groups such as the UN’s International Maritime Organization, which has issued guidelines on Ship Design and Construction, and International Ocean Noise Coalition. However, international
regulations are sparse.
How is Underwater Noise Measured?
Larson Davis offers Marine Mammals Protection metrics and reporting with the Marine Mammal Noise Monitoring System based on SoundAdvisor Sound Level Meter Model 831C. These metrics are suitable for understanding the effects of pile-driving activities.
Learn more by downloading our free Guide to Marine Mammal Protection Noise Measurements.
How is Underwater Pile Driving Noise Mitigated?
Mitigation options for noise caused by pile driving and drilling include things like curtains of air bubbles, Hydro Sound Dampers, cofferdams, specially designed piles that can be installed more quietly, surface treatment on piles, and specially constructed
shells that incorporate multiple mitigation tools into one structure. For more information on mitigation techniques, please check with an underwater noise consultant.