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Acoustic Environment of Haro Strait: Preliminary Propagation Modeling and Data Analysis
WASHINGTON UNIV SEATTLE APPLIED PHYSICS LAB
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Field measurements and acoustic propagation modeling for the frequency range 1 10 kHz are combined to analyze the acoustic environment of Haro Strait of Puget Sound, home to the southern resident killer whales. Haro Strait is a highly variable acoustic environment with active commercial shipping, whale watching, and Naval activity. Southern resident killer whales are of unique public concern in this area because of increasing anthropogenic noise levels that may interfere with the animal s foraging strategies and behavior. Predictive acoustic modeling in combination with field measurements can be used as a tool for understanding the mechanisms of impact and assessment of the risk, providing a quantitative evaluation of sound source levels in the context of complicated acoustic environments, changing background sound levels, and emerging management issues. Of principle concern here is background sound levels created by commercial shipping traffic or other persistent sound sources that propagate from the main shipping channel. The scope of the modeling effort encompasses numerical modeling of transmission loss and propagation at ranges of less than 10 km. Preliminary modeling results are analyzed and compared with recordings of ship noise collected in the springsummer of 2004.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE