Input of Energy/Underwater Sound

TitleInput of Energy/Underwater Sound
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsBoebel, Olaf, Burkhardt Elke, and Van Opzeeland Ilse
EditorSalomon, Markus, and Markus Till
Book TitleHandbook on Marine Environment Protection: Science, Impacts and Sustainable Management
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISBN Number978-3-319-60156-4
EndNote Rec Number11824

Underwater sound is ubiquitous throughout the world’s oceans. Evaluating its impact and relevance for the marine fauna is highly complex and hampered by a paucity of data, lack of understanding and ambiguity of terms. When comparing sound (an energetic pollutant) with substantial pollutants (chemical, biological or marine litter) two notable differences emerge: Firstly, while sound propagates instantaneously away from the source, it also ceases immediately within minutes of shutting off the source. Anthropogenic noise is hence per-se ephemeral, lending itself to a set of in-situ mitigation strategies unsuitable for mitigation of persistent pollutants. Secondly, while pollution with hazardous substances can readily be described quantitatively with few parameters (concentration as the most important one), the description of sound and its impact on aquatic life is of much higher complexity, as to be evidenced by the issue’s multifaceted description following hereinafter.