Effects of Underwater Noise

Effects of Underwater Noise

There is increasing awareness of the potential impacts of underwater noise on the behaviour and health of individual marine mammals, but high levels of uncertainty over the extent to which existing or new noise sources may result in population level impacts.

Our research has assessed how noise from offshore energy developments influences seal and cetacean distribution in these areas. Initially, this work focussed on oil and gas exploration activity. More recently, we have carried out studies of responses of cetaceans to underwater noise from harbour construction, boat activity and offshore windfarm construction.

Example studies

Graham, I.M., Merchant, N.D., Farcas, A., Barton, T.R., Cheney, B., Bono, S. & Thompson, P.M. (2019) Harbour porpoise responses to pile-driving diminish over time. Royal Society Open Science 6.

Thompson, P.M., Brookes, K.L., Graham, I.M., Barton, T.R., Needham, K., Bradbury, G. & Merchant, N.D. (2013) Short-term disturbance by a commercial two-dimensional seismic survey does not lead to long-term displacement of harbour porpoises. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B. 280: 20132001.