In this contribution we analyse and quantify the submarine noise produced by a dredger. The boat is being modified in a research project aimed at reducing the pollution produced by suction dredging operations. The initial assessment tasks previous to the planned modifications to the dredger include in-situ measurements of the submarine noise produced by dredging. Measurements were performed with three hydrophones, located at different depths and distances to the dredger, and during different operation modes while suction dredging in the outer port in A Coruña (Spain), under construction. The main target of this work is to calculate the source levels from measured levels. To this aim, we have developed a propagation model to compute source levels, whose results show a strong correspondence with the propagation losses derived from the measurements. Our results are compared with published data from other dredgers. Besides, noise generation mechanisms and noise variations on the dredger operation condition are also investigated, and the environmental impact of the dredging noise analysed. As the main conclusion of this work, a methodology to evaluate underwater noise sources is proposed.
Soledad Torres Guijarro: Telecommunications Engineer (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid - UPM, 1992) and PhD in Telecommunications Engineering (UPM, 1996), specialised in Digital Signal Processing. She actually enjoys a teaching position at the Universidad de Vigo. Previously, she held teaching positions at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Universidad de Valladolid y Universidad Europea de Madrid. She has taken part in 21 research projects with public founding, three of them with European founding, and over 20 research projects with private founding. She is author or co-author of 13 papers, 1 book chapter and 1 patent. Her research interests include Digital Signal Processing applied to audio and acoustics.