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Underwater noise assessment outside harbor areas: The case of Port of Civitavecchia, northern Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy

Cafaro, Valentina, Piazzolla, Daniele, Melchiorri, Cristiano, Burgio, Calogero, Fersini, Giorgio, Conversano, Francesca, Piermattei, Viviana, Marcelli, Marco
Marine pollution bulletin 2018 v.133 pp. 865-871
boats, coasts, models, ships, temporal variation, water pollution, Italy, Tyrrhenian Sea
Underwater noise assessment is particularly important in coastal areas where a wide range of natural and anthropogenic sounds generate complex and variable soundscapes. In the last century, the number and size of noise sources has increased significantly, thereby increasing the ocean's background noise. Shipping is the main source of lower-frequency underwater noises (<500 Hz). This research aimed to provide an initial assessment of underwater noise levels in a coastal area of the northern Tyrrhenian Sea (Italy) using short-term recordings. Spatial and temporal variations in the noise level, and the type and number of ships sailing through the port were recorded. A significant correlation was found between ferry boats and sound pressure levels, indicating their role as a prevalent source of low frequency underwater noise in the project area. This research could provide the baseline for implementation of distribution and point-source underwater noise models that are required for sustainable coastal management.