Assessing the environmental risks of marine seismic surveying: Latest insights from sonar

Gerrit Blacquiere*, Frans Peter Lam, Özkan Sertlek, Michael Ainslie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review


The production of underwater sound is more and more considered to be an environmental risk. This has already been the case for military sonar for more than a decade, as sonar was identified as a possible cause of marine mammal strandings. The approach we adapted for military sonar is the following. The risk is characterized by computing the exposure (sound produced by the sonar) in an area around the source and by coupling that information to the effects it causes on a certain animal species. The risk is then quantified by taking into account the probability of the presence of that species in the area. If too large, the risk can be mitigated. We observe a trend of shifting the focus from individual disturbance to more general population consequences. A similar approach is advised to characterize the risks involved in the use of airguns in seismic acquisition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4945-4948
Number of pages4
JournalSEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventSEG New Orleans Annual Meeting, SEG 2015 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: 18 Oct 201123 Oct 2011


  • Marine
  • Environmental
  • Sources


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