Developing New Standards For Measuring The Output Of Industry Sources Through Expert Workshops And Review


  • Can industry, government and academia agree on standard ways to measure and describe underwater sound fields?
  • What standards/methods do we need to develop to provide full coverage of sound?
  • characteristics relevant to E&P operations and potentially exposed marine life?
  • What standards/methods for measurement of sound in the marine environment do we need to use?
  • How can we improve the quality of E&P acoustic data and increase the usefulness of the aggregate data for an improved understanding of sounds produced by industry?


A consistent method for acquiring and analysing seismic and non-seismic acoustic data would improve the assessment of E&P industry sounds, and comparisons against other human sources. A necessary first step in this process is to define standard methodologies for acquiring new E&P acoustic data and analysing the resultant data.

Standards are the key to producing data that are consistent across user communities. When completed, this project will inform the collection of future data on industry sources, and will link to other standards efforts (ASA, ISO, etc.).

Objectives and methods

  • Determine the key acoustic metrics needed to assess biological exposures and their biological significance
  • Use Programme acoustic studies to develop or to beta-test the Standards
  • Provide standard metrics to ensure the consistency of reporting among scientists, contractors, and consultants
  • Publish the standard in a peer-reviewed publication, or as a defined standard through SEG or ASA, to ensure that the integrity of the work is maintained


A standard methodology for acquiring and analysing data will maximize the usefulness of existing data and increase the value of future data that are expensive to acquire.

Links to other research

This effort is linked to the Standards Program of the Acoustical Society of America.


  • Marine Acoustics Inc, William Ellison
  • JASCO Research Ltd, Rob Racc
  • Tom Carlson, Programme Advisor


  • Sound Source Characterisation And Propagation

    An essential first step of the JIP’s research is to better understand how sound propagates in the ocean. There are variety of factors including depth, temperature and salinity to name a few.

  • Research Categories

    The JIP has funded one of the most extensive industry research programmes in this field. It is divided into five categories which are complementary and designed to allow the JIP to fully understand the issue and potential impacts associated with underwater sound from E&P activities.