Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Estimating the effects of pile driving sounds on seals: pitfalls and possibilities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Open Access Status

  • Embargoed (until 16/12/20)

Abstract

Understanding the potential effects of pile driving sounds on marine wildlife is essential for regulating offshore wind developments. Here, tracking data from 24 harbour seals were used to quantify effects and investigate sensitivity to the methods used to predict these. The Aquarius pile driving model was used to model source characteristics and acoustic propagation loss (16 Hz–20 kHz). Predicted cumulative sound exposure levels (SELcums) experienced by each seal were compared to different auditory weighting functions and damage thresholds to estimate temporary (TTS) and permanent (PTS) threshold shift occurrence. Each approach produced markedly different results; however, the most recent criteria established by Southall et al. [(2019) Aquat. Mamm. 45, 125–232] suggests that TTS occurrence was low (17% of seals). Predictions of seal density during pile driving made by Russell et al. [(2016) J. Appl. Ecol. 53, 1642–1652] were compared to distance from the wind farm and predicted single-strike sound exposure levels (SELss) by multiple approaches. Predicted seal density significantly decreased within 25 km or above SELss (averaged across depths and pile installations) of 145 dB re 1 μPa²·s. However, there was substantial variation in SELss with depth and installation, and thus in the predicted relationship with seal density. These results highlight uncertainty in estimated effects, which should be considered in future assessments.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3948-3958
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume147
Issue number6
Early online date16 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Automated detection and tracking of marine mammals: a novel sonar tool for monitoring effects of marine industry

    Hastie, G. D., Wu, G-M., Moss, S., Jepp, P., MacAulay, J. D. J., Lee, A., Sparling, C. E., Evers, C. H. M. & Gillespie, D. M., 6 Sep 2019, In : Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 29, S1, p. 119-130

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Effects of impulsive noise on marine mammals: investigating range-dependent risk

    Hastie, G., Merchant, N., Goetz, T., Russell, D. J. F., Thompson, P. & Janik, V. M., Jul 2019, In : Ecological Applications. 29, 5, 10 p., e01906.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Harbour seals avoid tidal turbine noise: implications for collision risk

    Hastie, G. D., Russell, D. J. F., Lepper, P., Elliott, J., Wilson, B., Benjamins, S. & Thompson, D., 12 Feb 2018, In : Journal of Applied Ecology. 55, 2, p. 684-693 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Animal-borne tags provide insights into the acoustic communication of southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) on the calving grounds

    Dombroski, J. R. G., Parks, S. E., Flores, P. A. C., Martín López, L. M., Shorter, K. A. & Groch, K. R., Jun 2020, In : Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 147, 6, p. EL498-EL503

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Comparison of fin whale 20 Hz call detections by deep-water mobile autonomous and stationary recorders

    Fregosi, S., Harris, D. V., Matsumoto, H., Mellinger, D. K., Negretti, C., Moretti, D. J., Martin, S. W., Matsuyama, B., Dugan, P. J. & Klinck, H., 10 Feb 2020, In : Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 147, 2, p. 961-977 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Fin whale acoustic presence and song characteristics in seas to the southwest of Portugal

    Pereira, A., Harris, D., Tyack, P. & Matias, L., Apr 2020, In : Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 147, 4, p. 2235-2249 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 268446042

Top