Volume 4, Issue 4, pp. 112-134
Ringed seal densities and noise near an icebound artificial island with
construction and drilling
Valerie D. Moulton, W. John Richardson, Michael T. Williams, and Susanna B.
A monitoring program documented densities of ringed seals, Phoca hispida,
before and during development of the Northstar oil field in the central
Alaskan Beaufort Sea. Aerial surveys of seals on landfast ice were
conducted during the springs of 1997 to 1999 (pre-construction) and
2000?2001 (construction and drilling). Acoustic and vibration data were
acquired during the ice-covered seasons of 2000 and 2001. Underwater
sounds, in-air sounds, and iceborne vibrations from Northstar were above
background levels to distances of 1?5, 0.5?4, and 1?4 km, respectively.
However, seal densities close to Northstar in 2000 and 2001 were not
reduced relative to those farther away or during the 1997 to 1999 period.
(c) 2003 Acoustical Society of America.