dBSea – Prediction of underwater noise

Despite what most people think the sea below surface is not very quiet. A lot of the sound sources are natural and is part of the background noise in the sea. Examples of natural noise sources are rain, interaction between wind and waves and also vulcanic activity can cause noise on far distance.

Many forms of marine life depend on sound for their communication, navigation and development. Noise generated by man can obstruct these vital functions and biologists are concerned about both physiological disorders as disorders in animal behavior. Especially in marine mammals, many species have very sensitive hearing. Noise generated by man in underwater environments include noise from ship traffic, pile driving and seismic surveys with impulse sources. EU Marine Directive descriptor 11 dictate that noise in the seas must not harm marine life. dBSea is a tool to comply with this Directive.

dBSea is a software for prediction of underwater noise. It uses several different prediction models and the user have full control over which to use depending on current application. The 3D model is built by importing bathymetry data and placing noise sources in the environment. Each source can consist of equipment chosen from either the standard or user defined databases. Noise mitigation methods may also be included. The user has control over the seabed and water properties including speed of sound profile (how the speed of sound changes with water depth), temperature, saltinity and current.

Noise levels are calculated throughout the entire project area and displayed in 3D. To examine results in more detail, levels may be plotted in cross sections or a detailed spectrum may be extracted at any point in the 3D calculation area.

More info about dBSea under products/dBSea