An adaptive approach to underwater noise compliance

in Noise
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Operations in marine settings can be impeded by unnecessarily conservative noise boundaries that are defined by assumptions instead of actual data. 

Noisy underwater activities such as seismic surveys and piling can damage the hearing of marine fauna, which they rely heavily upon. Dolphins, for example, use echo location to navigate and find food.

The current way of managing noise exposure for marine fauna works on a series of hard boundaries. For example when fauna enter a predefined exclusion zone around operations, work must cease and can’t resume until they have left the area. This method of limiting noise exposure is not necessarily effective in protecting fauna as actual exposures are unknown. It is also not practical for operators performing seismic surveys or piling to comply with this approach because of the prohibitive cost of suspending work — a seismic survey cost as much as AU$700,000 per day.

The best way to maximise the operating envelope of noise constrained activities without compromising fauna hearing is to use an adaptive approach. 

The benefits are that fauna hearing is not compromised and the operational noise envelopes companies work within are maximised. 

SVT uses a real-time adaptive noise management tool that combines marine fauna observer data, operations data, measured noise data and real time modelling to determine actual marine fauna exposures. 

The tool provides operators with an evidence based system that enables them to make the right decisions for their business. 

Contact us to find out more about SVT’s adaptive underwater noise management tool.