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Article

A Modeling Comparison of the Potential Effects on Marine Mammals from Sounds Produced by Marine Vibroseis and Air Gun Seismic Sources

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JASCO Applied Sciences (Canada) Ltd., Halifax, NS B3B 1Z1, Canada
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LGL Ecological Research Associates Inc., Bryan, TX 77802, USA
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JASCO Applied Sciences (USA) Inc., Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA
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Robert Brune, LLC., Evergreen, CO 80439, USA
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JASCO Applied Sciences (Canada) Ltd., Victoria, BC V8Z 7X8, Canada
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9010012
Received: 6 November 2020 / Revised: 15 December 2020 / Accepted: 16 December 2020 / Published: 24 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean Noise: From Science to Management)
Concerns about the potential environmental impacts of geophysical surveys using air gun sources, coupled with advances in geophysical surveying technology and data processing, are driving research and development of commercially viable alternative technologies such as marine vibroseis (MV). MV systems produce controllable acoustic signals through volume displacement of water using a vibrating plate or shell. MV sources generally produce lower acoustic pressure and reduced bandwidth (spectral content) compared to air gun sources, but to be effective sources for geophysical surveys they typically produce longer duration signals with short inter-signal periods. Few studies have evaluated the potential effects of MV system use on marine fauna. In this desktop study, potential acoustic exposure of marine mammals was estimated for MV and air gun arrays by modeling the source signal, sound propagation, and animal movement in representative survey scenarios. In the scenarios, few marine mammals could be expected to be exposed to potentially injurious sound levels for either source type, but fewer were predicted for MV arrays than air gun arrays. The estimated number of marine mammals exposed to sound levels associated with behavioral disturbance depended on the selection of evaluation criteria. More behavioral disturbance was predicted for MV arrays compared to air gun arrays using a single threshold sound pressure level (SPL), while the opposite result was found when using frequency-weighted sound fields and a multiple-step, probabilistic, threshold function. View Full-Text
Keywords: animat; air gun; impact assessment; marine vibroseis; marine mammal; sound propagation; ocean noise; underwater noise modeling and mapping; underwater noise effects; ocean noise regulations animat; air gun; impact assessment; marine vibroseis; marine mammal; sound propagation; ocean noise; underwater noise modeling and mapping; underwater noise effects; ocean noise regulations
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MDPI and ACS Style

Matthews, M.-N.R.; Ireland, D.S.; Zeddies, D.G.; Brune, R.H.; Pyć, C.D. A Modeling Comparison of the Potential Effects on Marine Mammals from Sounds Produced by Marine Vibroseis and Air Gun Seismic Sources. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9, 12. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9010012

AMA Style

Matthews M-NR, Ireland DS, Zeddies DG, Brune RH, Pyć CD. A Modeling Comparison of the Potential Effects on Marine Mammals from Sounds Produced by Marine Vibroseis and Air Gun Seismic Sources. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. 2021; 9(1):12. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9010012

Chicago/Turabian Style

Matthews, Marie-Noël R., Darren S. Ireland, David G. Zeddies, Robert H. Brune, and Cynthia D. Pyć 2021. "A Modeling Comparison of the Potential Effects on Marine Mammals from Sounds Produced by Marine Vibroseis and Air Gun Seismic Sources" Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 9, no. 1: 12. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9010012

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