Pile Driving2018-03-20T10:01:21+00:00

Pile Driving

Pile Driving Sounds

 

Description

Pile driving is a commonly used in coastal and offshore construction. Pile driving produces high sound pressure levels in both the surrounding air and underwater environment. Image credit: Stéphane Charette; Wikimedia.

Pile driving is commonly used in the construction of foundations for docks, bridges, wind turbines, and offshore oil and gas platforms. The most common technique of pile driving is impact pile driving. With this method, a heavy weight is lifted and dropped against the top of a pile (a wood, steel, or reinforced concrete, pole), driving it into the substrate. The blows are delivered at approximately 1 s intervals. Depending on the size of the hammer, sediment properties, and the required penetration depth of the pile, it usually takes several hours to drive 1 pile into the substrate.

Vibratory pile driving is commonly used to install small piles and/or may be used to initially drive a larger pile. Here, vibratory hammers sit on top of the pile, and a series of oscillating weights continuously transfer vertical vibrations into the pile at a specific frequency. These vertical vibrations cause the sediment surrounding the pile to liquefy, allowing the pile to penetrate the substrate. Vibratory hammers are available with several different vibration rates, ranging from about 1200-2400 vibrations per minute. The vibration rate chosen is influenced by soil conditions at the site. Vibratory hammers operate continuously.

Pile driving produces high sound pressure levels in both the surrounding air and underwater environment. Sound levels vary substantially, and the size of the hammer, diameter of the pile, as well as properties of the seafloor, influence the source level and frequency of the signals generated. During impact pile driving, sound from the hammer striking the pile radiates into the air and a pulse propagates down the length of the pile and into the substrate as well as the surrounding waters. The majority of energy in pile impact pulses is at frequencies below 500 Hz. Near source (within 10m of the pile driving activities) peak sound pressure levels range up to 220 underwater dB[1]Reyff, J. (2012). Underwater Sounds From Unattenuated and Attenuated Marine Pile Driving. In A. N. Popper & A. Hawkins (Eds.), The Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life (Vol. 730, pp. 439–444). New York, NY: Springer New York. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-7311-5_99, or perhaps even higher.

Vibratory pile driving produces a continuous sound with peak pressures lower than those observed in pulses generated by impact pile driving. Sound signals generated by vibratory pile driving usually consist of a low fundamental frequency, from 20-40 Hz. Average, near source, peak sound pressure levels range from 165-185 underwater dB. Sound or vibrations generated by pile driving may also be transferred via the substrate and emerge at some distance from the source.

Impact pile driving produces a loud, impulse sound that can propagate through the water and substrate. The underwater sound pressure levels caused by pile driving can be harmful to marine animals[2]Halvorsen, M. B., Casper, B. M., Woodley, C. M., Carlson, T. J., & Popper, A. N. (2012). Threshold for Onset of Injury in Chinook Salmon from Exposure to Impulsive Pile Driving Sounds. PLoS ONE, 7(6), e38968. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0038968[3]Halvorsen, M. B., Casper, B. M., Matthews, F., Carlson, T. J., & Popper, A. N. (2012). Effects of exposure to pile-driving sounds on the lake sturgeon, Nile tilapia and hogchoker. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279(1748), 4705–4714. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2012.1544[4]Halvorsen, M. B., Casper, B. M., Woodley, C. M., Carlson, T. J., & Popper, A. N. (2011). Predicting and mitigating hydroacoustic impacts on fish from pile installations (No. NCHRP Research Results Digest 363, Project 25-28). Washington, D.C.: National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Transportation Research Board,National Academies Press. Retrieved from http://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/166159.aspx[5]Casper, B. M., Halvorsen, M. B., Matthews, F., Carlson, T. J., & Popper, A. N. (2013). Recovery of barotrauma injuries resulting from exposure to pile driving sound in two sizes of hybrid striped bass. PLoS ONE, 8(9), e73844. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0073844. The probability of impact are situational and vary with pile type, impact energy, exposure type, duration, site characteristics, and species’ auditory characteristics.

References

  • Ainslie, M. A., de Jong, C. A. F., Robinson, S. P., & Lepper, P. A. (2012). What is the Source Level of Pile-Driving Noise in Water? In A. N. Popper & A. Hawkins (Eds.), The Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life (Vol. 730, pp. 445–448). New York, NY: Springer New York. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-7311-5_100
  • Caltrans Report. (2009). Final Technical Guidance for Assessment & Mitigation of the Hydroacoustic Effects of Pile Driving on Fish (p. 298). Prepared by ICF Jones & Stokes and Illingworth & Rodkin, Inc. for: California Department of Transportation.
  • Gedamke, J., & Scholik-Scholomer, A. R. (2011). Overview and Summary of Recent Research into the Potential Effects of Pile Driving on Cetaceans. International Whaling Comission.
  • Hawkins, A. D., & Popper, A. N. (2012). Effects of Noise on Fish, Fisheries, and Invertebrates in the U.S. Atlantic and Arctic from Energy Industry Sound-Generating Activities (Workshop Report). Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
  • Matuschek, R., & Betke, K. (2009). Measurements of Construction Noise During Pile Driving of Offshore Research Platforms and Wind Farms (p. 4). Proc. NAG/DAGA Int. Conference on Acoustics.
  • Madsen, P., Wahlberg, M., Tougaard, J., Lucke, K., & Tyack, P. (2006). Wind turbine underwater noise and marine mammals: implications of current knowledge and data needs. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 309, 279–295. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps309279
  • Popper, A. N., & Hastings, M. C. (2009). The effects of anthropogenic sources of sound on fishes. Journal of Fish Biology, 75(3), 455–489. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2009.02319.x

Cited References   [ + ]

1. Reyff, J. (2012). Underwater Sounds From Unattenuated and Attenuated Marine Pile Driving. In A. N. Popper & A. Hawkins (Eds.), The Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life (Vol. 730, pp. 439–444). New York, NY: Springer New York. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-7311-5_99
2. Halvorsen, M. B., Casper, B. M., Woodley, C. M., Carlson, T. J., & Popper, A. N. (2012). Threshold for Onset of Injury in Chinook Salmon from Exposure to Impulsive Pile Driving Sounds. PLoS ONE, 7(6), e38968. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0038968
3. Halvorsen, M. B., Casper, B. M., Matthews, F., Carlson, T. J., & Popper, A. N. (2012). Effects of exposure to pile-driving sounds on the lake sturgeon, Nile tilapia and hogchoker. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279(1748), 4705–4714. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2012.1544
4. Halvorsen, M. B., Casper, B. M., Woodley, C. M., Carlson, T. J., & Popper, A. N. (2011). Predicting and mitigating hydroacoustic impacts on fish from pile installations (No. NCHRP Research Results Digest 363, Project 25-28). Washington, D.C.: National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Transportation Research Board,National Academies Press. Retrieved from http://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/166159.aspx
5. Casper, B. M., Halvorsen, M. B., Matthews, F., Carlson, T. J., & Popper, A. N. (2013). Recovery of barotrauma injuries resulting from exposure to pile driving sound in two sizes of hybrid striped bass. PLoS ONE, 8(9), e73844. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0073844