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Underwater noise pollution in a coastal tropical environment.

Research paper by L L Bittencourt, R R RR Carvalho, J J Lailson-Brito, A F AF Azevedo

Indexed on: 13 May '14Published on: 13 May '14Published in: Marine Pollution Bulletin



Abstract

Underwater noise pollution has become a major concern in marine habitats. Guanabara Bay, southeastern Brazil, is an impacted area of economic importance with constant vessel traffic. One hundred acoustic recording sessions took place over ten locations. Sound sources operating within 1 km radius of each location were quantified during recordings. The highest mean sound pressure level near the surface was 111.56±9.0 dB re 1 μPa at the frequency band of 187 Hz. Above 15 kHz, the highest mean sound pressure level was 76.21±8.3 dB re 1 μPa at the frequency 15.89 kHz. Noise levels correlated with number of operating vessels and vessel traffic composition influenced noise profiles. Shipping locations had the highest noise levels, while small vessels locations had the lowest noise levels. Guanabara Bay showed noise pollution similar to that of other impacted coastal regions, which is related to shipping and vessel traffic.