[MARMAM] New publication on underwater detonations and marine mammals

S.Koschinski marine-zoology at t-online.de
Wed Jan 4 01:06:57 PST 2012

Dear All,
the following article has just been published in Marine Technology Society Journal

Underwater Noise Pollution From Munitions Clearance and Disposal, Possible Effects on Marine Vertebrates, and Its Mitigation,  Sven Koschinski.  Marine Technology Society Journal, November/December 2011, Volume 45, Number 6, pp. 80-88

Underwater detonations have the potential for serious injury in marine vertebrates such as fishes, reptiles, birds and mammals. The high detonation velocity creates a shock wave. The main reason for injury is the extremely short signal rise time combined with a high overpressure. A negative pressure phase generating cavitation shortly after the peak overpressure can increase organ and tissue damage. Due to surface reflection generating a reversed phase replica of the detonation this phenomenon is very pronounced in shallow waters. Organs most seriously affected by detonations are those with gas/tissue interfaces (e.g., ears, lungs, swim bladders, air sacs, intestines). Observed injuries include disruption of cells and tissues by differential displacement, internal bleeding, embolism and auditory damage. Further, the compression of the thorax by the shock wave initiates a rapid increase in blood pressure which can cause damage in the brain and ears. In order to protect marine life all possible attempts should be made to avoid underwater detonations. For detonations which cannot be avoided due to safety considerations, a number of mitigation measures are presented including bubble curtains, scaring devices, visual and acoustic monitoring, seasonal and spatial planning. However, mitigation measures have varying degrees of efficiency. Low-order detonations are not a real alternative due to the release of toxic munitions constituents to the environment. For each detonation, a proper site- and munitions-specific risk assessment and mitigation strategy must be developed. 

This article is in the first volume of a 2- volume special editition  "Legacy Underwater Munitions: Assessment, Evaluation of Impacts, and Potential Response Technologies".  Part 1 of this 2 volume edition can be purchased at: https://www.mtsociety.org/publications/. Part 2 is soon to follow.

For pdf reprints of only the article itself, e-mail to sk at meereszoologie.de

The Marine Technology Society is a not-for-profit, international, professional association.  Founded in 1963, the Society believes that the advancement of marine technology and the productive, sustainable use of the oceans depend upon the active exchange of ideas between government, industry and academia. See www.mtsociety.org.

Dipl. Biol. Sven Koschinski
Kühlandweg 12
24326 Nehmten
Tel. ++49-(0)4526-381716
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