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 local bathymetry and environmental data from the site to enhance realism. Results can also be used to determine 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 groundtruthed with real data are the most effective method to quantify potential effects of anthropogenic noise sources on marine mammals.