Measurement of underwater noise

Paul Boughton

The measurement of underwater noise, created during construction and operation of wind farms and tidal turbines, is an important component of any Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and is vital to ensure the safety and longevity of marine wildlife and ensure compliance with licensing requirements. 

The issue of underwater noise is becoming an increasingly important indicator in the UK Government’s legislated drive towards achieving ‘Good Environmental Status’, following the publication of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

Fugro is teaming up with JASCO Applied Sciences, the specialist underwater acoustics company, to provide measurement of underwater noise and allied consultancy. The new service will be launched at RenewableUK Offshore Wind 2010 (Liverpool, 29-30 June)
“This new partnership brings a number of key advantages to the marine renewable energy industry and can be used by the wind, wave and tidal sectors,” says Mark Calverley, Consultancy Director of Fugro GEOS.  “Both organisations already have established track records within these sectors. By combining our extensive experience and expertise in technical system deployment, we are able to introduce cost-efficiencies, by offering a ‘one-stop’ solution.”
As Robin Burns, Director of JASCO Applied Sciences (UK) explains: “JASCO has worked with several legislators around the world to support development of appropriate regulatory guidelines for addressing noise-related concerns.  At the same time, we can assist renewable energy developers through provision of empirical assessments of their projects to ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements relating to underwater noise.”
“Working together we can deliver cost-effective solutions to requirements for underwater noise measurement in all UK sea areas,” says Mark Calverley.  “We at Fugro can draw on the depth of experience, breadth of application and technical sophistication of JASCO’s industry-leading 3D acoustic modelling and measurement capability and extensive global experience.
The list of advantages to this joint approach is vast; and includes the ability to conduct pre-piling acoustic impact assessment including use of bubble-curtain mitigation; construction phase calibrated noise level measurements; and post construction acoustic recording that not only assesses overall noise contribution from the operational wind or tidal scheme, but may support studies to confirm the return of pre-existing mammals and fish stocks.  
As a group, Fugro has a considerable global offshore vessel capability, and the Fugro Renewables’ service to the marine renewable energy industry includes desktop and feasibility studies, site investigations, foundation design and engineering, metocean monitoring, and marine construction support, thus providing assistance and critical assurance through every stage of development from the planning, engineering and installation of assets to their operational management and maintenance.
The combined Fugro:JASCO services can be used throughout the life-cycle of a renewable project providing services such as baseline studies, construction monitoring, pre-construction modelling, mitigation studies and preservation of marine life.
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