Acoustic Noise measured using iMarl Acoustic Sensors – Propagation of Acoustic Noise in Canyons (PANiC)

Eoghan Daly is a research student with the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geoscience (iCRAG) and NUI Galway. His PhD project is titled ‘Evaluating controls of acoustic noise propagation across the continental margin’. 

The offshore hydrocarbon exploration industry uses controlled source airguns or ‘seismic shots’ to prospect for oil and gas in subsurface layers of the seafloor. A by-product of this exploration is noise that propagates through the water column. Researchers at NUI Galway, in conjunction with DIAS Geophysics and iCRAG, are studying this noise as it propagates across the Irish continental margin. Some of the aims of the project are to ascertain if there is a difference in sound attenuation between typical slopes and submarine canyons and to identify possible areas of dampening or amplification.

Hydrophones and recorders, as part of the iMARL suite of instruments, were used to great success in a recent offshore survey to measure sound propagation in the Porcupine Basin and have proved to be an integral part of the project.

Under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) anthropogenic noise in the ocean is classed as pollution and Ireland has been tasked with measuring and monitoring that noise. By quantifying and analysing ocean sound propagation, this project aims to raise understanding of noise levels, as part of Ireland’s responsibility under the MSFD.

RS-ORCA3000 high specification underwater acoustic data recorder

RS-ORCA3000 high specification underwater acoustic data recorder been launched on a mooring

The Science team (left to right): Jenny Law (NUIG student); Kieran Adlum (glider pilot, P&O/MI); Dr. Martin White (NUIG); Eoghan Daly (NUIG); Liam Strachan (NUIG student); Sibéal Regan (GMIT student & IWDG)

To read all about the survey please go to Eoghan Daly’s blog.