Sound pressure level

Realistic hydro-sound scenarios based on forecasting models and monitoring for the construction of offshore wind farms in the German North Sea (HyproWind)

Leibniz Universität Hannover - Fakultät für Bauingenieurwesen und Geodäsie - Institut für Statik und Dynamik

The construction of offshore wind farms in the North Sea and Baltic Sea will involve structural procedures and equipment which, in the light of substantial underwater sound pressure levels, might have a significant influence upon marine mammals.

A series of research projects on the subject of underwater noise have already been undertaken for the investigation of the noise-related impact of specific offshore construction procedures and the comparable analysis of the effects of pile-driving. For evaluation purposes, time- or impact-based variables for levels have been considered (Leq, SEL and Lpeak). The key focus has been on the evaluation of individual instances of noise, and their subsequent comparison with UBA guideline values. However, there is a lack of reliable forecast calculations, based upon realistic scenarios, for the anticipated sound pressure level in the entire affected zone of the North Sea, in consideration of both time and place and the potential cumulative effects of a number of construction projects. As part of the “HyproWind” project, FINO1 has therefore been equipped with hydrophones, fitted to a frame structure on the seabed, for the continuous measurement of the sound pressure level. These continuous measurements will be supplemented by further short-term measurements recorded using portable equipment at various locations in the German Bight.

The results of forecast calculations will be made available in the form of noise charts in a uniform format for use during the licensing phase.

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