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Temporal and spectral characteristics of a marine piling operation in shallow water

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conference contribution
posted on 28.03.2012, 11:02 by Paul LepperPaul Lepper, Stephen P. Robinson, Justin Ablitt, S.A. Dible
Analysis of the underwater radiate acoustic characteristics for marine piling operations for two pile diameters, 2m and 4.74m, in a relatively shallow water site are presented. Measurements of the entire piling sequence for several piles were conducted at ranges from 10m to 22km for piles in 10-20 m water depth. Variations in the temporal and spectral characteristics of radiated energy are analysed in context of pile size, range from source, hammer energy used and pile penetration depth. Analysis of hammer energy used shows a strong interdependence between mechanical strike ‘hammer’ energy and underwater radiated acoustic energy. This process appears ‘coarsely’ linear for individual piling operations although considerable variation in overall gradient were observed between operations. For individual hammer energy step increases often the largest increases in radiated energy were observed at the initial hammer energy increase, with subsequent strikes at the same hammer energy resulting in a gradual reduction in radiated energy to a level 1-2 dB lower. These effects are potentially due to sediment compacting / relaxation effects relating to the time and number of strikes and penetration. Temporal and spectral variations in radiated energy due to pile penetration are also examined for fixed hammer energy and range. Simultaneous recordings of radiated energy made at increasing distances from the pile showed evidence of temporal and spectral dispersion effects consistent with relatively shallow water propagation. Correlation of received levels at various ranges in differing seabed topographies were made suggesting complex shallow water modal propagation dependant on both the source and environment characteristics including seabed topography, sediment type and water column acoustic properties.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


LEPPER, P.A. ... et al., 2009. Temporal and spectral characteristics of a marine piling operation in shallow water. IN: Proceedings of the NAG/DAGA 2009 International Conference on Acoustics including the 35th German Annual Conference on Acoustics (DAGA), 23 - 26 March, Rotterdam, pp. 266 - 268.


© Acoustical Society of the Netherlands (NAG) and German Acoustical Society (DEGA)


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This conference paper was presented at the NAG/DAGA 2009 International Conference on Acoustics, Rotterdam, 23 - 26 March 2009.





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