The tabulation below has been prepared to address the often confusing claims made by environmental groups such as Oceana and Wild Migration regarding the loudness and hence perceived impacts, of seismic pulses in water. The tabulation compares the loudness of seismic pulses with other sounds in water and also relates these to typical sounds we are all aware of in air.
Key points that can be drawn from this tabulation include:
1. Seismic pulses are very obviously at a similar loudness to a jet taking off – NOT 100,000 times louder as implied by Oceana in their absurd infographic;
2. Ironically, if Oceana were correct in their claim, seismic pulses would have to be louder than the Krakatoa eruption which cracked walls and broke windows up to 160km away, created a 37m tidal wave and was heard up to 4700km away! Common sense tells us that seismic pulses are nowhere near the loudness of atomic explosions and pale into insignificance compared to the Krakatoa eruption;
3. Furthermore, in their infographic, Oceana imply that the sound of a motor cycle is 10,000 time louder than normal conversation. How can they believe the public is so gullible as to believe that!? It is ridiculous, given it is only 16 times. Also, they imply that a jet taking off at 140dB (which is incorrect as it would have to be at 50m, not 1m) is 10,000 times louder than a motor cycle. Again, that is totally false;
4. There are many natural sounds in the ocean that are similar to or greater than seismic sounds (calving/colliding icebergs, sperm whale clicks, earthquakes, lighting strikes, undersea eruptions).
5. There are many sounds made by marine life that are at similar levels to the levels that they would experience just a few hundred metres from an active seismic vessel.
Unfortunately, many people including senators, other environmental groups and the media have obviously believed the implication by Oceana that seismic pulses are 100,000 louder than a jet taking off.
In conclusion, when we look at the facts and science, we are left to ponder why environmental groups like Oceana and Wild Migration get their facts so wrong and appear to intentionally spread fear and confusion in the community.