EnviroGulf Consulting

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ABN 62 713 622 437

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Underwater Noise Impact Assessment

Underwater Noise Impact Assessment

EnviroGulf Consulting undertakes screening underwater noise impact assessments for Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) or equivalent documentation, and assists clients to achieve compliance with licencing conditions relating to underwater noise.


EnviroGulf Consulting undertakes an initial desktop study with the following elements that form part of a comprehensive scoping process and which are required to assess underwater noise impacts:

Baseline characterisation

Based on literaure reviews, baseline characterisation of the abiotic and biotic environment of the study area in which a proposed noise-generating activity may be proposed is required.

Ambient/background noise levels

Investigate the existing underwater noise environment of the study area based on literature review and relevant site-specific conditions.

Sensitivity of marine fauna to underwater noise

Identify noise-sensitive key fauna in study area and characterise their hearing range and frequencies


Characterise noise source levels:

Obtain underwater noise signatures of equipment or vessels involved in marine construction or operations or undertake a literature review of similar noise-generating activities or equipment used.

Underwater noise propagation and tranmission loss

Undertake underwater noise modelling of sound propagation and transmission loss between the underwater noise sources and the receptors (i.e., noise-sensitive marine fauna) to predict received noise levels at different distances from the noise source(s).

Define marine fauna impact exposure criteria

Review relevant noise impact assessment criteria and define marine fauna impact exposure criteria applicable to the study area.


Noise mitigation and management measures

Prior to assessing impacts on noise-sensitive marine fauna, review mitigation and management measures that may be applied to reduce underwater noise source levels or propagation.

Assess underwater noise impacts to marina fauna

Assess residual impacts of activity-generated noise on marine fauna after mitigation and managemnet measures have been applied.

The Need for Numerical Modelling

Where the above screening level analysis of underwater noise indicates significant residual impacts on noise-sensitive marine fauna, further more detailed and sophisticated numerical modelling may be required. In this case, EnviroGulf Consulting recommends that an acoustical specialist familiar with the latest numerical and computaional methods be consulted.

EnviroGulf Consulting can recommend to clients suitable acoustic consultants who have access to public modelling software or who have developed their own proprietary computer modelling software.



EnviroGulf Consulting experience in underwater noise impact assessments is summarised below:





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