Underwater explosion damage risk criteria for fish, birds, and mammals.

Open Access Peer Reviewed Publication 1981

Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

In 1969 an underwater test facility was constructed specifically to study the biological effects produced by underwater blast. Investigations were conducted to determine the ranges from explosive charges, up to 3.6 kg, that were safe, damaging, or lethal to selected species of fish, birds, and mammals. It was established that the impulse (integral pdt) in the underwater blast wave was the parameter that governed biological damage and not peak pressure or energy. There was good correlation between the impulse and body weight in fish that ranged from 12 pKa.ms for 0.02-g guppy fry to 341 kPa.ms for 744-g carp. The blast response of fish with ducted swim bladders was the same as fish having nonducted swim bladders. Mallard ducks were selected as a model to represent birds on and beneath the water surface. Impulse levels that were safe, injurious, or lethal to birds were determined and presented as a function of range and charge weight. The tolerance of six mammalian species, that ranged in body weight from 0.2–45 kg, was investigated. A tentative interspecies extrapolation, relating impulse to body weight, was illustrated as a method that may be pursued to predict the response of large marine mammals to underwater blast. A safe-impulse criterion of 14 pKa.ms for personnel was evaluated by an unprotected swimmer in a variety of charge-depth configurations.

Link To Publication

Similar Research

Responses of Bottlenose Dolphins to Construction and Demolition of Underwater Structures

Open Access Report 2006

Mote Marine Laboratory

Of all of the anthropogenic noise sources in the marine environment, construction and demolition noise and their effects have received perhaps the least attention, and yet...
Read More

A Summary of Existing and Future Potential Treatments for Reducing Underwater Sounds from Oil and Gas Industry Activities

Pay-walled Conference 2007


This paper summarizes the efforts undertaken by the author to identify existing and future potential methods to reduce underwater sound levels created by nearly all oil...
Read More

Likely sensitivity of bottlenose dolphins to pile-driving noise

Pay-walled Journal Article 2006

Water and Environment Journal

Pile driver-generated noise has the potential to affect dolphin populations adversely as it is detectable up to 40 km from the source. At 9 kHz, this...
Read More

Tolerance by ringed seals (Phoca hispida) to impact pipe-driving and construction sounds at an oil production island

Pay-walled Journal Article 2004

The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

During June and July 2000, impact pipe-driving sounds at Northstar Island (Prudhoe Bay, Alaska) were recorded underwater and in air at distances 63–3000 m from the...
Read More

Effects of underwater noise on auditory sensitivity of a cyprinid fish

Pay-walled Journal Article 2001

Hearing Research

The ability of a fish to interpret acoustic information in its environment is crucial for its survival. Thus, it is important to understand how underwater noise...
Read More

Criteria and Thresholds of U.S. Navy Acoustic and Explosive Effects Analysis.

Open Access Report 2012

Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Systems Centre Pacific

Sounds produced from naval activities can be divided into seven categories: (1) Sonars and other active acoustic sources; (2) Explosive detonations; (3) Ship noise; (4) Aircrafts...
Read More

Seal monitoring and evaluation for the Gemini offshore windpark: T-construction

Open Access Report 2016


1. Gemini offshore windfarm is located 55 km north of the island of Schiermonnikoog. The construction works for the 150 wind turbines and electrical infrastructure were...
Read More

Pressure pulse characteristics of deep explosions as functions of depth and range.

Open Access Report 1967

Naval Ordnance Laboratory

Thirty-eight TNT ant 18 HBX-3 charges weighing one, eight, and fifty pounds were fired at depths betweeen 500 and 14,000 ft; pressure-time data were measured directly...
Read More
Keywords: Depth, Explosion, Pressure

Ambient Underwater Noise Levels at Norra Midsjöbanken during Construction of the Nord Stream Pipeline.

Open Access Journal Article 2012

Nord Stream

Norra Midsjöbanken is a Natura 2000 area situated approximately 50 km east of the southern tip of Öland island in the Swedish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)....
Read More

Agreement in Principal for Interim Criteria for Injury to Fish from Pile Driving Activities.

Open Access Meeting documents, Notices 2008

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

A letter to discuss the agreement of interim criteria for injury to fish from pile driving activities....
Read More
Keywords: Fish, Injury, Pile driving