Effects on marine life from underwater noise generated by turbines are recognized as a potential environmental impact of in-stream turbines (Polagye et al. 2011). The rotating mechanical equipment in tidal turbines is expected to emit continuous tones into the water, perhaps at levels that could harass or harm marine life (Polagye et al. 2011, Stein 2011). To assess the acoustic impact, differences between soundscapes with and without a turbine present must be measured. Ideally, recordings would be made in all seasons, weather conditions, and tidal states, and flow noise artefacts in the data would be minimized.
The goal of this study was to measure ambient sound levels as a function of tidal state at the FORCE site. Successful measurements demonstrated the ability to subsequently measure turbine sound levels at all tidal states.
Authors: Bruce Martin and Jonathan Vallarta of JASCCO Applied Sciences
This resource is also available as Appendix G in the 2011-2013 Environmental Effects Monitoring report.