Assessment and Monitoring of Ocean Noise in Irish Waters

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Resource or Project Abstract

Anthropogenic noise is now recognised as a significant pollutant in the marine environment and there is a growing interest from the scientific community, policy makers and the general public in the effects of anthropogenic noise on marine life. The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) has developed criteria under Descriptor 11 Noise to define, identify and quantify anthropogenic sound sources, encompassing both low- and mid-frequency impulsive sound (Indicator 11.1.1) and low-frequency continuous sound (Indicator 11.2.1). This report is part of a project on the assessment and monitoring of ocean noise in Irish waters, addressing both Indicators, and is a key delivery on behalf of Ireland meeting obligations under the MSFD. Indicator 11.1.1 addresses noise sources from from seismic surveys, sonar, piledriving, acoustic deterrents and the use of explosives. Seismic surveying is the primary technique used in the search for oil and natural gas reserves and is a major sound source of concern when assessing low- and midfrequency impulsive sound in Irish waters. This report has highlighted specific geographical areas with a greater frequency of seismic exploration and additionally highlighted specific geographical areas that have been surveyed using the larger volume arrays. This report was completed as part of a research project (2011-W-MS-6) undertaken by Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), which was funded by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for the Environment (STRIVE) Programme 2007-2013 and by the Irish Government on behalf of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Ms. Suzanne Beck
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
Environmental Research Scientist
Marine Biodiversity Research Group, Marine & Freshwater Research Centre, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Dublin Road Galway, Ireland
Telephone: +353 91 742524
e-mail: Suzanne.Beck@gmit.ie

Dr. Joanne O'Brien
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
Lecturer
Marine Biodiversity Research Group, Department of Life Sciences, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Dublin Road Galway, Ireland
Telephone: +353 91 742277
e-mail: joanne.obrien@gmit.ie

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Data, Files, Information Objects Related To This Project Resource

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Offline Print Quality Version    STRIVE_96_Beck_Water-Noise_prn.pdf  (4.59 Mb)
Project Report Optimised For Online Viewing    STRIVE_96_Beck_Water-Noise_web.pdf  (1.48 Mb)

Suggested Citation Information

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Author(s)Beck, S. O'Brien, J.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationAssessment and Monitoring of Ocean Noise in Irish Waters
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=5560e69f-016e-11e2-add7-005056ae0019
Unique Identifier5560e69f-016e-11e2-add7-005056ae0019
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2017-05-27

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Beck, S. O'Brien, J.   "Assessment and Monitoring of Ocean Noise in Irish Waters". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=5560e69f-016e-11e2-add7-005056ae0019 (Last Accessed: 2017-05-27)

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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/iso19115/display?isoID=284
Resource KeywordsOcean Noise, Seismic survey, Irish waters, Anthropogenic noise
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2011-W-MS-6
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeEnvironmental Technologies
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Public-Open
Limitations on the use of this ResourceAny attached datasets, data files, or information objects can be downloaded for further use in scientific applications under the condition that the source is properly quoted and cited in published papers, journals, websites, presentations, books, etc. Before downloading, users must agree to the "Conditions of Download and Access" from SAFER-Data. These appear before download. Users of the data should also communicate with the original authors/owners of this resource if they are uncertain about any aspect of the data or information provided before further usage.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 2
Project Start Date Saturday 1st January 2011 (01-01-2011)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Saturday 1st January 2000 (01-01-2000)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Thursday 1st December 2011 (01-12-2011)
Published on SAFERTuesday 18th September 2012 (18-09-2012)
Date of Last EditThursday 6th February 2014 at 10:33:32 (06-02-2014)
Datasets or Files Updated On Monday 22nd October 2012 at 10:16:51 (22-10-2012)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
To investigate the development of seismic survey equipment and techniques, surveys conducted from 2000 to 2011 in Irish waters were categorised based on the volume of the air-gun array (cubic inches), which is be used here as a proxy for sound source level. Noise maps were generated through the ArcGIS mapping software for each year; where more than one survey covered a cell block, the mean volume of the Between the years 2000 and 2011, a total of 44 seismic surveys were conducted in waters under Irish jurisdiction. Of these, 25 surveys were 2D and 19 were 3D. The duration of 2D surveys during this time ranged from 1 day to 51 days, with an average duration of 18 days.

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
Ocean noise has always existed, both in natural and biological forms. Undoubtedly, due to its recent and uncontrolled character, the substantial introduction of artificial sound sources at a large scale has become a threat to this balance. Anthropogenic noise is now recognised as a significant pollutant in the marine environment and there is a growing interest from the general public in the effects of anthropogenic noise on marine life. As sound travels very efficiently in water, the affected areas, depending on emitted frequency, can be vast. Low-frequency sounds can travel hundreds or even thousands of kilometres
Supplementary Information
NONE
Links To Other Related Resources
  http://www.monitoringoceannoise.com/ (Opens in a new window)

  http://erc.epa.ie/safer/iso19115/displayISO19115.jsp?isoID=3045 (Opens in a new window) (STRIVE 120)

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