Desk-based noise-propagation modelling is an economical method used assess potential impacts of a man made (anthropogenic) noise source on sensitive or protected species.
Anthropogenic noise sources in the marine environment include (but are not limited to):
Sound propagation varies between locations due to the complexity of underwater environments affected by, inter alia, geographic, bathymetric, oceanographic, and climatic conditions. OSC’s PhD-qualified scientists are adept at modelling propagation of noise through complex real-world environments using site-dependent bathymetry and environmental data to enhance realism. Results can also be used to estimate ranges of audibility and Permanent or Temporary Threshold Shifts (PTS and TTS respectively) to marine mammal hearing, which can also feed into other assessments such as Population Consequences of Disturbance.
Numerical modelling is a considerably less expensive way to provide prediction of underwater acoustic fields than in situ noise measurements; however, models complemented and refined with in situ data are the most effective method to quantify potential effects of anthropogenic noise sources on marine animals.
Additional details and examples can be found our presentation from the Symposium on High Underwater Sounds from Humans (SHUSH) in September 2021.