Coupling of wave data and underwater acoustic measurements in a maritime high-traffic coastal area: A case study in the strait of sicily

TitleCoupling of wave data and underwater acoustic measurements in a maritime high-traffic coastal area: A case study in the strait of sicily
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsRaffa, F., Ludeno G., Buscaino G., Sannino Gianmaria, Carillo A., Grammauta R., Spoto D., Soldovieri F., Mazzola S., and Serafino F.
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology
KeywordsAcoustic generators, Acoustic measurements, Acoustic measurements/effects, Acoustic measuring instruments, Acoustic noise, Acoustic variables measurement, acoustic wave, acoustics, Anthropogenic sources, Biodiversity, coastal zone, Coastal zones, Different frequency, Marine pollution, monitoring, nearshore dynamics, numerical model, Ocean currents, Radar, Radar measurement, Radar systems, sea surface, Sea surface observations, Significant wave height, Strait of Sicily, Surface waters, Underwater acoustics, underwater environment, Water waves, Wind wave, X-band radar systems

Underwater acoustic monitoring combined with real-time sea surface observations and numerical model forecasts could improve the efficiency of natural and anthropogenic sound source discrimination. In this work, acoustic sound pressure levels at different frequencies were compared with significant wave heights, measured using an X-band radar system, and then matched against independent data derived from a Simulating Waves Nearshore (SWAN) model in order to confirm their reliability. The acoustic data were recorded from a fixed buoy located in the Sicilian Channel at 4.9 km from the coast and 33 km from the X-band radar system installed at Cape San Marco (in the southwest region of Sicily). All data were acquired during two different periods: 28 February-16 March 2015 and 23 April-27 May 2015. The level of noise at the 16-Hz octave band showed the best linear correlation (R50:78), with in situ radar observations of significant wave height. Radar measurements of wave height coupled with in situ acoustic measurements give a characterization of the level of noise as result of sea state in a specific area. These measurements could be used to discriminate natural sources of noise (waves) from other sound sources, such as biological and anthropogenic sources. This discrimination contributes to understanding the impact of acoustic pollution on marine environments and provides a monitoring plan protocol for safeguarding biodiversity in the Mediterranean coastal areas.


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