Assessing the Underwater Ship Noise Levels in the North Tyrrhenian Sea

  • Eduardo RossiEmail author
  • Gaetano Licitra
  • Andrea Iacoponi
  • Daniele Taburni
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 875)


The purpose of this research was to assess the anthropic underwater noise caused by ships within the Cetacean Sanctuary, a wide area in the North Tyrrhenian Sea. Noise from low-frequency continuous sounds has been investigated within the 1/3-octave bands centered at 63 and 125 Hz. All the information about noise sources and sound attenuation have been organized in a database; a tool automatically extracts useful information from it and feeds a ray-tracing model to estimate noise levels. The results show average levels generally over the 100 dB re 1 μPa value.


Ray tracing Noise vessel Cetacean Sanctuary 



Special thanks to Silvano Buogo, Lucilla di Marcoberardino, Alessandra Tesei, and Gianni Pavan for their suggestions and help.


  1. Andrew RK, Howe BM, Mercer JA (2002) Ocean ambient sound: comparing the 1960s with the 1990s for a receiver off the California coast. Acoust Res Lett Online 3:65–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cato DH, McCauley RD (2002) Australian research in ambient noise. Acoust Aust 30:13–20Google Scholar
  3. Del Grosso VA (1974) New equations for the speed of sound in natural waters (with comparisons to other equations). J Acoust Soc Am 56:1084–1091CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. European Commission (2008) Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008, establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive). Official Journal of the European Union L164:19–40Google Scholar
  5. Gordon JCD, Gillespie D, Potter J, Frantzis A, Simmonds M, Swift R, Thompson D (2004) A review of the effects of seismic survey on marine mammals. Mar Technol Soc J 37:14–34Google Scholar
  6. Jensen FB, Kuperman WA, Porter MB, Schmidt H (2011) Computational ocean acoustics. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Leroy CC, Robinson SP, Goldsmith MJ (2008) A new equation for the accurate calculation of sound speed in all oceans. J Acoust Soc Am 124:2774–2782CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Mackenzie KV (1981) Nine-term equation for the sound speed in the oceans. J Acoust Soc Am 70:807–812CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. McDonald MA, Hildebrand JA, Wiggins SM (2006) Increases in deep ocean ambient noise in the Northeast Pacific west of San Nicolas Island, California. J Acoust Soc Am 120:711–718CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Medwin H (1975) Speed of sound in water: a simple equation for realistic parameters. J Acoust Soc Am 58:1318–1319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Porter M (2011) The BELLHOP manual and user’s guide: preliminary draft. Accessed 20 July 2012
  12. Richardson WJ, Greene CR Jr, Malme CI, Thomson DH (1995) Marine mammals and noise. Academic, San DiegoGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eduardo Rossi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gaetano Licitra
    • 2
    • 3
  • Andrea Iacoponi
    • 2
  • Daniele Taburni
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of GenevaGeneva 4Switzerland
  2. 2.Environmental Protection Agency of Tuscany Region (ARPAT)LuccaItaly
  3. 3.Institute of Acoustics and Sensors “Bear Mario Corbino” (IDASC)RomeItaly

Personalised recommendations