Assessing noise-related impacts on marine mammals

Developing a Dynamic Risk Assessment Model for Acoustic Disturbance

For companies like Statoil that conduct oil and gas exploration, we help them ensure that noise from their work does not harm marine mammals. Current noise risk assessment models assume that marine mammals are stationary. However, marine mammals move around their environment. As such, Statoil asked us to develop a risk assessment model that took this into account. Using our MIKE by DHI software, we created a Dynamic Risk Assessment Model for Acoustic Disturbance (DRAMAD) using the Chukchi Sea as the demonstration area. DRAMAD gave Statoil more accurate results than current noise risk assessment models on the large scale noise-related impacts on seals as well as bowhead and beluga whales. It also enabled Statoil to convey their environmental awareness to the local communities in the area.