Potential Effects of Low Frequency Sounds on Distribution and Behavior of Marine Mammals
Final rept. 1 Apr 1997-30 Sep 1999
SCRIPPS INSTITUTION OF OCEANOGRAPHY LA JOLLA CA
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This was part of the first major project addressing the potential impact of an operational DoD LFS source on free-ranging marine mammals. Based on available prior research, the expectation was that we would detect obvious and statistically significant responses at received levels of around 120dB re 1 micronPa, and that such changes would be manifested across multiple measures. This was not entirely the case. Although our measures were sensitive enough to detect subtle changes indicating that animals detected the sound, animals were tolerant of received levels between 120-130dB. Most tests for statistical significance were negative. The few statistically significant behavioral responses were subtle, short-term and small-scale. All responses were small relative to natural variation, leading to the interpretation that ATOC LFS has a negligible impact on marine mammals.
- Biological Oceanography