Why Are Geological and Geophysical (G&G) Surveys Conducted?
G&G surveys are conducted to: (1) obtain data for oil and gas (O&G) exploration and production, (2) aid in siting offshore (i.e., O&G, renewable energy) structures, and (3) locate marine mineral resources. More specifically, G&G surveys are necessary to make informed decisions about O&G resources, engineering decisions regarding the construction of offshore projects, and informed estimates regarding the composition and volume of sand and gravel resources. Such data are also used to ensure the proper use and conservation of Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) energy resources and the receipt of fair market value for the leasing of public lands.
What Are the Potential Impacts to Marine Life?
Some marine species rely on sound to communicate and gain information about their environment that is critical to survival and reproductive success. Humanmade (anthropogenic) sound can affect certain species of marine life in a variety of ways, from minor behavioral modifications to major impacts, such as permanent or temporary hearing loss. The potential for impacts is largely tied to: (1) the individual animal (species, age, hearing range, prior exposure to sound source), (2) what the animal is doing at the time of exposure (feeding, migrating, mating), (3) the context and characteristics of the sound being heard, and (4) other physical environmental factors.