Author(s): Skarsoulis Emmanuel, Piperakis Georgios, Orfanakis Emmanuel, Papadakis Panagiotis, Taroudakis Michael
Shipping noise is a substantial component of ambient noise in the sea. Traveling vessels are sources of low-frequency acoustic waves which propagate efficiently through the water mass and thus affect underwater noise levels at large distances from the major shipping lanes. In recent years the European Union introduced the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) aiming at the establishment of good environmental status in the sea areas surrounding Europe. The MSFD addresses, among others, underwater noise pollution and requires the monitoring of continuous low-frequency noise through measurement and/or with the use of models if appropriate. This work is about the development of a near real-time prediction model for shipping noise in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea combining AIS data for ship locations and characteristics, environmental data and acoustic propagation codes. At the present state of the art there are still significant sources of uncertainty, which have to do, among others, with gaps in the AIS data or lack of detailed information about important ship characteristics, large variability in the source levels of commercial ships reported in the literature, influence of the propagation conditions and source depth, etc.; these uncertainties will be presented and discussed. Further, a pilot application for near real-time shipping noise predictions for the Eastern Mediterranean Sea will be presented, relying on AIS data from MarineTraffic ship tracking service. The prediction results are updated on an hourly basis and they are available through the internet (http://www.iacm.forth.gr/shipnoise). \nAcknowledgement: Work carried out in the framework of the Hellenic Republic - Siemens agreement partially funded by the Programmatic Agreement between Research Centers and the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) 2015-2017 and further supported by the QuietMed EU joint program on noise for the implementation of the second cycle of the MSFD in the Mediterranean Sea.
Name: Dr Emmanuel Skarsoulis