Arctic Orca

Environmental Impact of Marine Seismic Acquisition

In the 21st century there is considerable focus on the impact of human activities on other species. In the marine geophysical environment, sound generated from a variety of such activities, (pile-driving, offshore turbine noise, drilling noise, airgun and other surveying operations, depth transponders and so on), has come under close scrutiny.

To respond to this need, Gundalf Optimiser was the first seismic source modelling software to produce broadband airgun models out to 10s of kHz using existing calibration data in 2004. Although high frequencies are highly anisotropic in airgun signatures, Gundalf's prediction of the background levels of this acoustic radiation closely matches known recorded datasets. Gundalf models can then be used to predict the acoustic output of an airgun array in numerous different ways to match regulatory requirements for the different forms of impact on different species. Such impact might include high-frequency pressure effects on echo-locating odontoceti or mid-range particle-velocity effects on fish. To this end, Gundalf includes sophisticated methods to handle absorption and differential response of different species.

This capability was extended to selected alternative sources in 2022, including Boomers, Sparkers and Marine Vibrators.

We remain very closely associated with rapidly moving developments in regulatory requirements as the influence of external noise on marine species is understood better and we are committed to continuing to deliver a state of the art response in this important area.