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Characteristics of Sounds Emitted During High-Resolution Marine Geophysical Surveys

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Technical Report,25 Mar 2015,24 Mar 2016

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Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport United States

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Scientific questions regarding the impact of noise in the marine environment have resulted in an increasing number of regulatory requirements and precautionary mitigation strategies to reduce the risk associated with high-resolution marine geophysical surveys performed in U.S. waters. However, data to estimate the ecological risk associated with the operation of a given high-resolution survey system are frequently lacking. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport NUWCDIVNPT conducted a study to quantity characteristics of sounds radiated by a variety of commercial marine geophysical survey systems including boomers, sparkers, airguns, chirp profilers, side-scan sonars, and multibeam bathymetric echosounders. Calibrated acoustic data including source levels, intensity spectra, and beam patterns were acquired for a total of 18 different marine survey systems. This report presents the analysis of a calibrated acoustic dataset collected to support future permit applications and in-situ measurements in coastal U.S. waters.

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