The effects of seismic sounds on marine organisms: an annotated bibliography and literature review.




Linton, T.L.
Hall, N.
LaBomascus, D.

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Texas A&M University.


A literature search has been conducted of experiments dealing with seismic sound sources and their effects on aquatic marine organisms. Researchers report that high-velocity explosives burn rapidly and produce a very fast buildup in pressure which kills fishes. High-velocity explosives that produce a peak pressure of 40 psi kill some fish. Charges as small as 1 pound have been shown to damage fish. The degree of lethality is directly related to charge size and distance from detonation site. Organisms with air bladders, eggs, larvae and juvenile forms were found to be the most susceptible to damage. Low-velocity explosives generate a moderate pressure buildup and relatively low peak pressure, producing relatively no lethal effects to aquatic organisms. Studies have shown that black powder charges as large as 1100 pounds producing peak pressures much higher than 70 psi, will not harm fish. Seismic air guns have a moderate pressure rise-time similiar to that produced by low-velocity explosives. Although few studies have been conducted with air guns, they appear to have little adverse effect upon aquatic organisms.


67 p.


explosives, seismology, mortality causes, mortality, lethal effects, fish kill, red drum, spotted seatrout, white shrimp, Penaeus setiferus, brown shrimp, Penaeus aztecus, Penaeid shrimp, blue crab, stone crab, American oyster