Wind turbine underwater noise and marine mammals : implications of current knowledge and data needs
Madsen, Peter T.
Tyack, Peter L.
MetadataShow full item record
The demand for renewable energy has led to construction of offshore wind farms with high-power turbines, and many more wind farms are being planned for the shallow waters of the world’s marine habitats. The growth of offshore wind farms has raised concerns about their impact on the marine environment. Marine mammals use sound for foraging, orientation and communication and are therefore possibly susceptible to negative effects of man-made noise generated from constructing and operating large offshore wind turbines. This paper reviews the existing literature and assesses zones of impact from different noise-generating activities in conjunction with wind farms on 4 representative shallow-water species of marine mammals. Construction involves many types of activities that can generate high sound pressure levels, and pile-driving seems to be the noisiest of all. Both the literature and modeling show that pile-driving and other activities that generate intense impulses during construction are likely to disrupt the behavior of marine mammals at ranges of many kilometers, and that these activities have the potential to induce hearing impairment at close range. The reported noise levels from operating wind turbines are low, and are unlikely to impair hearing in marine mammals. The impact zones for marine mammals from operating wind turbines depend on the low-frequency hearing-abilities of the species in question, on sound-propagation conditions, and on the presence of other noise sources such as shipping. The noise impact on marine mammals is more severe during the construction of wind farms than during their operation.
Author Posting. © Inter-Research, 2006. This article is posted here by permission of Inter-Research for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Marine Ecology Progress Series 309 (2006): 279-295, doi:10.3354/meps309279.
Suggested CitationMarine Ecology Progress Series 309 (2006): 279-295
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Echolocation-based foraging by harbor porpoises and sperm whales, including effects of noise and acoustic propagation DeRuiter, Stacy L. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2008-09)In this thesis, I provide quantitative descriptions of toothed whale echolocation and foraging behavior, including assessment of the effects of noise on foraging behavior and the potential influence of ocean acoustic ...
Severson, Jared (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2009-02)Marine mammal whistle calls present an attractive medium for covert underwater communications. High quality models of the whistle calls are needed in order to synthesize natural-sounding whistles with embedded information. ...
Comparing methods suitable for monitoring marine mammals in low visibility conditions during seismic surveys Verfuss, Ursula K.; Gillespie, Douglas; Gordon, Jonathan; Marques, Tiago A.; Miller, Brianne; Plunkett, Rachael; Theriault, James A.; Tollit, Dominic J.; Zitterbart, Daniel; Hubert, Philippe; Thomas, Len (Elsevier, 2017-11-07)Loud sound emitted during offshore industrial activities can impact marine mammals. Regulations typically prescribe marine mammal monitoring before and/or during these activities to implement mitigation measures that ...