D3.5 Best practice guidelines on continuous underwater noise measurement (criterion D11C2)

Open Access Report 2018

QUIETMED – Joint programme on noise (D11) for the implementation of the Second Cycle of the MSFD in the Mediterranean Sea

This document is the Deliverable “D3.5 Best practice guidelines on continuous underwater noise monitoring (criterion D11C2)” of the QUIETMED project funded by the DG Environment of the European Commission within the call “DG ENV/MSFD Second Cycle/2016”. This call funds the next phase of MSFD implementation, in particular to achieve regionally coherent, coordinated and consistent updates of the determinations of GES, initial assessments and sets of environmental targets by July 2018, in accordance with Article 17(2a and 2b), Article 5(2) and Article 3(5) of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC). The QUIETMED project aims to enhance cooperation among Member States (MS) in the Mediterranean Sea to implement the Second Cycle of the Marine Directive and in particular to assist them in the preparation of their MSFD reports by 2018 through: i) promoting a common approach at Mediterranean level to update GES and Environmental targets related to Descriptor 11 in each MS marine strategies ii) development of methodological aspects for the implementation of ambient noise monitoring programs (indicator D11C2) iii) development of a joint monitoring programme of impulsive noise (Indicator D11C1) based on a common register, including gathering and processing of available data on underwater noise. This document presents the best practice, guidelines and recommendations on continuous underwater noise measurement which is part of standardised method for monitoring and assessment for criterion D11C2 of Decision 2017/848/EU. This deliverable is aimed in bringing basic knowledge and experience in the continuous underwater noise measurement thus insuring common approach of all partners to this issue. Furthermore it gives state of the art and best practice in this area of expertise. Also, guidelines and recommendations for the implementation of the best practice to the pilot deployments foreseen by the QUIETMED project are given. The document is organized in four chapters and two annexes. After the introduction, state of the art of the continuous underwater noise measuring methodologies is given. The generic underwater noise measuring system is described as well as methodology-specific measuring systems, namely bottom mounted systems, drifting systems, surface based systems and land based systems. After that, recommendations of best practices on continuous underwater noise measurement in the Mediterranean Sea are given including recommendations for hydrophones and measurement instrumentation (front end electronics amplification and filtering, A/D converter, data storage) and data storage and handling. Overall recommendations for the measuring system specifications are given and the importance of assesing measurement uncertainity is disscussed. In annexes, basic acoustic quantities and metrics are defined to be used throughout the whole project and shallow water specific environmental dependence is discussed. The guideline for the assesment of lower cut-off frequency in shallow water is given.

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