Shipping Noise

As examples, the source levels associated with low-frequency pure tones radiated by supertankers and container ships lie in the range 180-190 dB re 1 µPa at 1 m, while drill ship and dredging operations generate broadband source levels of 185 db re 1 µPa per Hz at 1 m [1]. There is a considerable amount of information available in the literature on both traffic and source levels [2][3][4].

Specific Studies

Sound is radiated by all of the vessels plying the ocean's surface, and shipping noise is the main contributor to the ambient noise level at frequencies below 500 Hz. The following links cover reports on shipping noise in detail:

To hear some examples of shipping noise, we have made available two audio files for download. One is of a tanker in Poole Bay, the other is of a speedboat in Poole Harbour.

  1. Richardson J, Greene C, Malme C, Thomson D (1995)
  2. Gray L M, Greely D S (1980)
  3. Ross D G (1987)
  4. Scrimger P, Heitmeyer R M (1991)
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