Special Issue "Ocean Noise: From Science to Management"

A special issue of Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (ISSN 2077-1312). This special issue belongs to the section "Ocean Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Michel André
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, BarcelonaTech (UPC), Spain
Interests: Bioacoustics Engineering and Processing; Marine Ecology; Biodiversity & Conservation; Animal Communication; Noise effects on marine ecosystems
Prof. Dr. Christine Erbe
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Marine Science and Technology, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
Interests: underwater acoustics; bioacoustics; noise impact on marine fauna

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Scientific and societal concern about the effects of underwater sound on marine ecosystems is growing. While iconic megafauna was of initial concern, more and more taxa are being included. Some countries have joined in multi-national initiatives to measure, monitor and mitigate environmental impacts of ocean noise at large, trans-boundary spatial scales. Approaches to regulating ocean noise change as new scientific evidence becomes available, but may also differ by country.

The OCEANOISE conference series has provided a platform for the exchange of scientific results, management approaches, research needs, stakeholder concerns, etc. Attendees have represented various sectors, including academia, offshore industry, defence, NGOs, consultants and government regulators. As this year’s conference was cancelled, a Special Issue of the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering is announced as a means of keeping the OCEANOISE community engaged.

We invite the submission of research articles, review papers, as well as opinion papers and commentaries relevant to the management of ocean noise. Focus may be on sound usage by marine and freshwater organisms; soundscapes; sound measurement, modelling and mapping; behavioural, physiological and pathological effects of noise; regulation and mitigation.

All manuscripts will be peer-reviewed and open access. We look forward to receiving your manuscripts.

Prof. Dr. Michel André
Prof. Dr. Christine Erbe
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Ocean Noise
  • Ocean Management
  • Ocean Sound Measurement
  • Underwater Noise Modelling & Mapping
  • Underwater Noise Effects
  • Ocean Noise Regulation
  • Ocean Noise Mitigation
  • Underwater Sound Sensing

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
It Often Howls More than It Chugs: Wind versus Ship Noise Under Water in Australia’s Maritime Regions
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(5), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9050472 - 27 Apr 2021
Viewed by 487
Abstract
Marine soundscapes consist of cumulative contributions by diverse sources of sound grouped into: physical (e.g., wind), biological (e.g., fish), and anthropogenic (e.g., shipping)—each with unique spatial, temporal, and frequency characteristics. In terms of anthropophony, shipping has been found to be the greatest (ubiquitous [...] Read more.
Marine soundscapes consist of cumulative contributions by diverse sources of sound grouped into: physical (e.g., wind), biological (e.g., fish), and anthropogenic (e.g., shipping)—each with unique spatial, temporal, and frequency characteristics. In terms of anthropophony, shipping has been found to be the greatest (ubiquitous and continuous) contributor of low-frequency underwater noise in several northern hemisphere soundscapes. Our aim was to develop a model for ship noise in Australian waters, which could be used by industry and government to manage marine zones, their usage, stressors, and potential impacts. We also modelled wind noise under water to provide context to the contribution of ship noise. The models were validated with underwater recordings from 25 sites. As expected, there was good congruence when shipping or wind were the dominant sources. However, there was less agreement when other anthropogenic or biological sources were present (i.e., primarily marine seismic surveying and whales). Off Australia, pristine marine soundscapes (based on the dominance of natural, biological and physical sound) remain, in particular, near offshore reefs and islands. Strong wind noise dominates along the southern Australian coast. Underwater shipping noise dominates only in certain areas, along the eastern seaboard and on the northwest shelf, close to shipping lanes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean Noise: From Science to Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Severity Scoring of Behavioral Responses of Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus) to Novel Continuous versus Conventional Pulsed Active Sonar
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(4), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9040444 - 19 Apr 2021
Viewed by 555
Abstract
Controlled exposure experiments (CEEs) have demonstrated that naval pulsed active sonar (PAS) can induce costly behavioral responses in cetaceans similar to antipredator responses. New generation continuous active sonars (CAS) emit lower amplitude levels but more continuous signals. We conducted CEEs with PAS, CAS [...] Read more.
Controlled exposure experiments (CEEs) have demonstrated that naval pulsed active sonar (PAS) can induce costly behavioral responses in cetaceans similar to antipredator responses. New generation continuous active sonars (CAS) emit lower amplitude levels but more continuous signals. We conducted CEEs with PAS, CAS and no-sonar control on free-ranging sperm whales in Norway. Two panels blind to experimental conditions concurrently inspected acoustic-and-movement-tag data and visual observations of tagged whales and used an established severity scale (0–9) to assign scores to putative responses. Only half of the exposures elicited a response, indicating overall low responsiveness in sperm whales. Responding whales (10 of 12) showed more, and more severe responses to sonar compared to no-sonar. Moreover, the probability of response increased when whales were previously exposed to presence of predatory and/or competing killer or long-finned pilot whales. Various behavioral change types occurred over a broad range of severities (1–6) during CAS and PAS. When combining all behavioral types, the proportion of responses to CAS was significantly higher than no-sonar but not different from PAS. Responses potentially impacting vital rates i.e., with severity ≥4, were initiated at received cumulative sound exposure levels (dB re 1 μPa2 s) of 137–177 during CAS and 143–181 during PAS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean Noise: From Science to Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Sound from Seismic Surveys on Fish Reproduction, the Management Case from Norway
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(4), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9040436 - 17 Apr 2021
Viewed by 387
Abstract
Anthropogenic noise has been recognized as a source of concern since the beginning of the 1940s and is receiving increasingly more attention. While international focus has been on the effects of noise on marine mammals, Norway has managed seismic surveys based on the [...] Read more.
Anthropogenic noise has been recognized as a source of concern since the beginning of the 1940s and is receiving increasingly more attention. While international focus has been on the effects of noise on marine mammals, Norway has managed seismic surveys based on the potential impact on fish stocks and fisheries since the late 1980s. Norway is, therefore, one of very few countries that took fish into account at this early stage. Until 1996, spawning grounds and spawning migration, as well as areas with drifting eggs and larvae were recommended as closed for seismic surveys. Later results showed that the effects of seismic surveys on early fish development stages were negligible at the population level, resulting in the opening of areas with drifting eggs and larvae for seismic surveys. Spawning grounds, as well as concentrated migration towards these, are still closed to seismic surveys, but the refinement of areas and periods have improved over the years. Since 2018, marine mammals have been included in the advice to management. The Norwegian case provides a clear example of evidence-based management. Here, we examine how scientific advancements informed the development of Norwegian management and how management questions were incorporated into new research projects in Norway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean Noise: From Science to Management)
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Open AccessArticle
A Reference Spectrum Model for Estimating Source Levels of Marine Shipping Based on Automated Identification System Data
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(4), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9040369 - 30 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 344
Abstract
Underwater sound mapping is increasingly being used as a tool for monitoring and managing noise pollution from shipping in the marine environment. Sound maps typically rely on tracking data from the Automated Information System (AIS), but information available from AIS is limited and [...] Read more.
Underwater sound mapping is increasingly being used as a tool for monitoring and managing noise pollution from shipping in the marine environment. Sound maps typically rely on tracking data from the Automated Information System (AIS), but information available from AIS is limited and not easily related to vessel noise emissions. Thus, robust sound mapping tools not only require accurate models for estimating source levels for large numbers of marine vessels, but also an objective assessment of their uncertainties. As part of the Joint Monitoring Programme for Ambient Noise in the North Sea (JOMOPANS) project, a widely used reference spectrum model (RANDI 3.1) was validated against statistics of monopole ship source level measurements from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority-led Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program. These validation comparisons resulted in a new reference spectrum model (the JOMOPANS-ECHO source level model) that retains the power-law dependence on speed and length but incorporates class-specific reference speeds and new spectrum coefficients. The new reference spectrum model calculates the ship source level spectrum, in decidecade bands, as a function of frequency, speed, length, and AIS ship type. The statistical uncertainty (standard deviation of the deviation between model and measurement) in the predicted source level spectra of the new model is estimated to be 6 dB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean Noise: From Science to Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Marine Acoustic Zones of Australia
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(3), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9030340 - 19 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 495
Abstract
Underwater sound is modelled and mapped for purposes ranging from localised environmental impact assessments of individual offshore developments to large-scale marine spatial planning. As the area to be modelled increases, so does the computational effort. The effort is more easily handled if broken [...] Read more.
Underwater sound is modelled and mapped for purposes ranging from localised environmental impact assessments of individual offshore developments to large-scale marine spatial planning. As the area to be modelled increases, so does the computational effort. The effort is more easily handled if broken down into smaller regions that could be modelled separately and their results merged. The goal of our study was to split the Australian maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) into a set of smaller acoustic zones, whereby each zone is characterised by a set of environmental parameters that vary more across than within zones. The environmental parameters chosen reflect the hydroacoustic (e.g., water column sound speed profile), geoacoustic (e.g., sound speeds and absorption coefficients for compressional and shear waves), and bathymetric (i.e., seafloor depth and slope) parameters that directly affect the way in which sound propagates. We present a multivariate Gaussian mixture model, modified to handle input vectors (sound speed profiles) of variable length, and fitted by an expectation-maximization algorithm, that clustered the environmental parameters into 20 maritime acoustic zones corresponding to 28 geographically separated locations. Mean zone parameters and shape files are available for download. The zones may be used to map, for example, underwater sound from commercial shipping within the entire Australian EEZ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean Noise: From Science to Management)
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Open AccessArticle
It Is Not Just a Matter of Noise: Sciaena umbra Vocalizes More in the Busiest Areas of the Venice Tidal Inlets
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(2), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9020237 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 775
Abstract
Boat noise is known to have a detrimental effect on a vulnerable Mediterranean sciaenid, the brown meagre Sciaena umbra. During summer 2019, two acoustic surveys were conducted at 40 listening points distributed within the inlet areas of Venice (northern Adriatic Sea). Two [...] Read more.
Boat noise is known to have a detrimental effect on a vulnerable Mediterranean sciaenid, the brown meagre Sciaena umbra. During summer 2019, two acoustic surveys were conducted at 40 listening points distributed within the inlet areas of Venice (northern Adriatic Sea). Two five-minute recordings were collected per each point during both the boat traffic hours and the peak of the species’ vocal activity with the aims of (1) characterizing the local noise levels and (2) evaluating the fish spatial distribution by means of its sounds. High underwater broadband noise levels were found (sound pressure levels (SPLs)50–20kHz 107–137 dB re 1 μPa). Interestingly, a significantly higher background noise within the species’ hearing sensibility (100–3150 Hz) was highlighted in the afternoon (113 ± 5 dB re 1 μPa) compared to the night (103 ± 7 dB re 1 μPa) recordings due to a high vessel traffic. A cluster analysis based on Sciaena umbra vocalizations separated the listening points in three groups: highly vocal groups experienced higher vessel presence and higher afternoon noise levels compared to the lower ones. Since the species’ sounds are a proxy of spawning events, this suggests that the reproductive activity was placed in the noisier part of the inlets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean Noise: From Science to Management)
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Open AccessArticle
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(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9010012 - 24 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 949
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean Noise: From Science to Management)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Acoustic Characteristics of Small Research Vessels
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(12), 970; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8120970 - 27 Nov 2020
Viewed by 540
Abstract
Vessel noise is an acute and chronic stressor of a wide variety of marine fauna. Understanding, modelling and mitigating the impacts of this pollutant requires quantification of acoustic signatures for various vessel classes for input into propagation models and at present there is [...] Read more.
Vessel noise is an acute and chronic stressor of a wide variety of marine fauna. Understanding, modelling and mitigating the impacts of this pollutant requires quantification of acoustic signatures for various vessel classes for input into propagation models and at present there is a paucity of such data for small vessels (<25 m). Our study provides this information for three small vessels (<6 m length and 30, 90 and 180 hp engines). The closest point of approach was recorded at various ranges across a flat, ≈10 m deep sandy lagoon, for multiple passes at multiple speeds (≈5, 10, 20, 30 km h−1) by each vessel at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Radiated noise levels (RNLs) and environment-affected source levels (ASLs) determined by linear regression were estimated for each vessel and speed. From the slowest to fastest speeds, median RNLs ranged between 153.4 and 166.1 dB re 1 µPa m, whereas ASLs ranged from 146.7 to 160.0 dB re 1 µPa m. One-third octave band-level RNLs are provided for each vessel–speed scenario, together with their interpolated received levels with range. Our study provides data on source spectra of small vessels to assist in understanding and modelling of acoustic exposure experienced by marine fauna. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean Noise: From Science to Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Above and below: Military Aircraft Noise in Air and under Water at Whidbey Island, Washington
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(11), 923; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8110923 - 16 Nov 2020
Viewed by 2325
Abstract
Military operations may result in noise impacts on surrounding communities and wildlife. A recent transition to more powerful military aircraft and a national consolidation of training operations to Whidbey Island, WA, USA, provided a unique opportunity to measure and assess both in-air and [...] Read more.
Military operations may result in noise impacts on surrounding communities and wildlife. A recent transition to more powerful military aircraft and a national consolidation of training operations to Whidbey Island, WA, USA, provided a unique opportunity to measure and assess both in-air and underwater noise associated with military aircraft. In-air noise levels (110 ± 4 dB re 20 µPa rms and 107 ± 5 dBA) exceeded known thresholds of behavioral and physiological impacts for humans, as well as terrestrial birds and mammals. Importantly, we demonstrate that the number and cumulative duration of daily overflights exceed those in a majority of studies that have evaluated impacts of noise from military aircraft worldwide. Using a hydrophone deployed near one runway, we also detected sound signatures of aircraft at a depth of 30 m below the sea surface, with noise levels (134 ± 3 dB re 1 µPa rms) exceeding thresholds known to trigger behavioral changes in fish, seabirds, and marine mammals, including Endangered Southern Resident killer whales. Our study highlights challenges and problems in evaluating the implications of increased noise pollution from military operations, and knowledge gaps that should be prioritized with respect to understanding impacts on people and sensitive wildlife. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean Noise: From Science to Management)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Use of Psychoacoustics in Marine Mammal Conservation in the United States: From Science to Management and Policy
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(5), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9050507 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 316
Abstract
Underwater sound generated from human activities has been long recognized to cause adverse effects on marine mammals, ranging from auditory masking to behavioral disturbance to hearing impairment. In certain instances, underwater sound has led to physical injuries and mortalities. Research efforts to assess [...] Read more.
Underwater sound generated from human activities has been long recognized to cause adverse effects on marine mammals, ranging from auditory masking to behavioral disturbance to hearing impairment. In certain instances, underwater sound has led to physical injuries and mortalities. Research efforts to assess these impacts began approximately four decades ago with behavioral observations of large whales exposed to seismic surveys and rapidly progressed into the diverse field that today includes studies of behavioral, auditory, and physiological responses of marine mammals exposed to anthropogenic sound. Findings from those studies have informed the manner in which impact assessments have been and currently are conducted by regulatory agencies in the United States. They also have led to additional questions and identified information needed to understand more holistically the impacts of underwater sound, such as population- and species-level effects, long-term, chronic, and cumulative effects, and effects on taxa for which little or no information is known. Despite progress, the regulatory community has been slow to incorporate the best available science in marine mammal management and policy and often has relied on outdated and overly simplified methods in its impact assessments. To implement conservation measures effectively, regulatory agencies must be willing to adapt their regulatory scheme to ensure that the best available scientific information is incorporated accordingly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean Noise: From Science to Management)
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Open AccessReview
Use of Underwater Acoustics in Marine Conservation and Policy: Previous Advances, Current Status, and Future Needs
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(2), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9020173 - 09 Feb 2021
Viewed by 598
Abstract
The interdisciplinary field of assessing the impacts of sound on marine life has benefited largely from the advancement of underwater acoustics that occurred after World War II. Acoustic parameters widely used in underwater acoustics were redefined to quantify sound levels relevant to animal [...] Read more.
The interdisciplinary field of assessing the impacts of sound on marine life has benefited largely from the advancement of underwater acoustics that occurred after World War II. Acoustic parameters widely used in underwater acoustics were redefined to quantify sound levels relevant to animal audiometric variables, both at the source and receiver. The fundamental approach for assessing the impacts of sound uses a source-pathway-receiver model based on the one-way sonar equation, and most numerical sound propagation models can be used to predict received levels at marine animals that are potentially exposed. However, significant information gaps still exist in terms of sound source characterization and propagation that are strongly coupled with the type and layering of the underlying substrate(s). Additional challenges include the lack of easy-to-use propagation models and animal-specific statistical detection models, as well as a lack of adequate training of regulatory entities in underwater acoustics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean Noise: From Science to Management)

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Noise waveforms within seabed vibrations and their associated evanescent sound fields
Authors: Richard A Hazelwood (1) Patrick C Macey (2)
Affiliation: 1. R&V Hazelwood Associates LLP, Guildford GU2 8UT, UK 2 .PACSYS Ltd, Nottingham NG8 6PE, UK
Abstract: Our modelling of seabed vibrations (J.Mar.Sci.Eng. 2016,4,47 & 2018,6,61) has been extended by the use of a more capable impulsive force driver. Previous work modelled the propagation of vibrations driven within the finite element (FE) model by a short impulse applied to a point on the seabed. This showed some of the effects of pile driving and dredging. The resultant short wavelets were shown to propagate well within a graded half space wherein the material shear wave speed increases with depth. The new results now show longer wavelets which better mimic the results of field measurements. They are compared with measurements made in a fresh water reservoir. The morphing behaviour of the short wavelets is now explained by the way the vector velocity components combine to form a stable pulse of kinetic energy travelling within the water particles adjacent to the seabed.

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