Exploring how vessel activity influences the soundscape at a navigation lock on the Mississippi River

Rosalyn L Putland, M. K. Brey, A. F. Mensinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Vessel sound is now globally recognized as a significant and pervasive pollutant to aquatic life. However, compared to marine environments, there is a paucity of data on sound emitted by vessel activity in freshwater habitats. The Upper Mississippi River (UMR) is home to a diverse array of aquatic life as well as being a key route for barge transportation with 29 locks and dams. In this study, passive acoustic monitoring was conducted at Lock and Dam 19 near Keokuk, Iowa, on the UMR between 20 June – August 28, 2019 to coincide with peak navigation use. There was a significant increase in median sound pressure level (SPL; 50–12,000 Hz) recorded during vessel passages (123 dB re. 1μPa for recreational vessels and 137 dB re. 1μPa for commercial vessels) compared to median background levels (111 dB re. 1μPa). Results provide information on the ambient soundscape at a navigation lock, providing a baseline essential for future studies gauging the effect of anthropogenic sound on aquatic life. Lock 19 has also been identified as a potential site for acoustic deterrent deployment to prevent invasive fish movements. The results of this study can help determine the sound level or frequency deterrents would need to emit, to avoid those currently produced during vessel passage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112720
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Volume296
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Special thanks to the US Army Corps of Engineers - Rock Island District Lock 19 Operations; Amanda Milde, Mark Roth and Bill Lamoreux from the USGS for their help deploying and retrieving hydrophones. Funding was provided by a USGS 00080409 awarded to AFM through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and USGS Ecosystems Mission Area Invasive Species Program. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Funding Information:
Special thanks to the US Army Corps of Engineers - Rock Island District Lock 19 Operations ; Amanda Milde, Mark Roth and Bill Lamoreux from the USGS for their help deploying and retrieving hydrophones. Funding was provided by a USGS 00080409 awarded to AFM through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and USGS Ecosystems Mission Area Invasive Species Program. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Freshwater
  • Navigation lock
  • Passive acoustic monitoring
  • Soundscape
  • Vessel sound

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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