Theoretical approach to estimating the induction of hearing impairment in bottlenose dolphins by radiated leisure boat noise

Jonathan A. David*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Coastal waters are being subjected to underwater noise generated by increasing numbers of leisure and tour boats. Such noise has the potential to impair the hearing of neighbouring bottlenose dolphins, particularly as the noise from several distributed boats could summate at the point of reception. This potential has been assessed by comparing small boat noise, recorded over a range of 8-532 m, with noise that is known to induce hearing impairment in the form of a temporary threshold shift (TTS) or permanent threshold shift (PTS). Extrapolation of broadband boat noise levels yielded a minimum source sound pressure level of 156 dB re 1 mu Pa at 1 m. An equal-energy model for TTS-onset predicted that boat noise could induce a TTS after 1 hour's exposure at 1.3 m and after 8 hours' exposure at 2.3 m. These distances increased with additional adjacent boats. Leisure boats are unlikely to induce a PTS, even at close range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1887-1892
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Volume92
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • hearing
  • threshold shift
  • boat
  • dolphin noise
  • temporary threshold shift (TTS)
  • permanent threshold shift (PTS)
  • TEMPORARY THRESHOLD SHIFT
  • TURSIOPS-TRUNCATUS
  • DELPHINAPTERUS-LEUCAS
  • EXPOSURE
  • WHALES

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