Underwater Noise Produced by the Piling Activities During the Construction of the Belwind Offshore Wind Farm (Bligh Bank, Belgian Marine Waters)

Book Chapter

Title: Underwater Noise Produced by the Piling Activities During the Construction of the Belwind Offshore Wind Farm (Bligh Bank, Belgian Marine Waters)
Publication Date:
January 01, 2010
Book Title: Offshore wind farms in the Belgian part of the North Sea: Heading for an understanding of environmental impacts
Published City: Brussels, Belgium
Chapter: 4
Pages: 37-51
Publisher: Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Stressor:

Document Access

Website: External Link

Citation

Norro, A.; Haelters, J.; Rumes, B.; Degraer, S. (2010). Underwater Noise Produced by the Piling Activities During the Construction of the Belwind Offshore Wind Farm (Bligh Bank, Belgian Marine Waters). Offshore wind farms in the Belgian part of the North Sea: Heading for an understanding of environmental impacts (pp. 37-51). Brussels, Belgium: Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.
Abstract: 

The piling of 56 foundations for 55 windmills and one offshore platform at the Blighbank (Belgian part of the North Sea, BPNS) has been surveyed for underwater noise. Maximum peak Sound Pressure Levels (SPL) up to 196 dB re 1μPa were recorded at 520 m from the piling location. The extrapolated apparent source SPL was estimated at 270.7 dB re 1μPa (95% CI: 260.4 – 281.1 dB re 1μPa), although such an extrapolation of the measured levels to the near field (< 100 m) environment should be interpreted with care. It is confirmed that the underwater noise level is a reason for concern, at least for marine mammals such as porpoises, seasonally abundant around the construction area. It is however very difficult to quantify and qualify the effects of the increased underwater noise level on components of the ecosystem, and a continued effort to do so is needed. To fine tune our estimates of noise propagation in the bathymetrically complex BPNS, in future more attention will be paid to the attenuation characteristics of underwater noise.

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