[MARMAM] Todd et al., 2020 JASA paper on underwater drilling noise in the Dogger Bank and relevance to harbour porpoise

Dr. Victoria Todd vt at osc.co.uk
Tue Dec 29 03:40:21 PST 2020

Dear Marmamers,

Pleased to announce publication of our latest paper on 28 December 2020: Todd, V.L.G., Williamson, L.D., Jiang, J., Cox, S.E., Todd, I.B., and Ruffert, M. (2020): Proximate underwater soundscape of a North Sea offshore petroleum-exploration jack-up drilling-rig in the Dogger Bank. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 148, 3971-3979.

Please find the article here: https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0002958

Little is known about localized, near-field soundscapes during offshore hydrocarbon drilling campaigns. In the Dogger Bank, North Sea, underwater noise recordings were made 41-60 m from the drill stem of the Noble Kolskaya jack-up exploration drilling-rig. Aims were to document noise Received Levels (RLs) and frequency characteristics of rig-associated near-field noise. The rig produced Sound Pressure Levels (SPL) of 120 dB re 1µPa in the frequency range of 2-1,400 Hz. Over transient periods, RLs varied by 15-20 dB between softest (holding) and noisiest (drilling) operations. Tonal components at different frequencies varied with depth. Support-vessel noise was significantly louder than the jack-up rig at frequencies <1 kHz, even in its noisiest 'boulder-drilling' phase, though radiated noise levels were higher above 2 kHz. Rig SPLs fell rapidly above 8 kHz. Marine mammals, such as harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) forage regularly near offshore oil & gas rigs and platforms, and it is predicted that animals experience different noise regimes as they traverse the water column, and can potentially detect the higher-frequency components of drilling noise to a distance of 70 m from the source; however, while levels were unlikely to cause auditory injury, effects on echolocation behavior are still unknown.

If you require a pdf, please don't hesitate to ask me on info at osc.co.uk<mailto:info at osc.co.uk>.

Kind regards,
Dr. Victoria Todd
Managing Director
Ocean Science Consulting Limited (OSC)
Spott Road, Dunbar, East Lothian, EH42 1RR, Scotland, UK
T: +44 (0)1368 865 722
W: www.osc.co.uk<http://www.osc.co.uk/>

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