Pile driving noise and mitigation

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Impact pile driving is common during construction projects within the critical habitat of the southern resident killer whales. Here we attempt to gather calibrated measurements of pile driving source levels and mitigation effectiveness.

The Cape Disappointment experiments by Jim Laughlin of WADOT assessed mitigation potential of bubble curtains and different cap materials. He found mean peak and RMS SPLs of 179 and 193 dB, respectively (average over all cap materials), were reduced 8 dB on average by the bubble curtain (see Google spreadsheet with SPLs of common Salish Sea sounds). The min and max values associated with different combinations of cap materials and bubble curtains were 165 and 208 dB.

Pile driving reports from WA State Ferries (from Rick Huey, as of October, 2009)

Recordings made via Salish Sea Hydrophone Network: