Mapping anthropogenic noise in Alberta using passive acoustic monitoring data

Noise from human activities negatively affects the well-being of humans and wildlife alike. In rural areas, ecosystems that are relatively undisturbed by human activities may still be subjected to noise exposure from vehicles passing nearby, industry-related noise (e.g., compressor stations), or from airplanes overhead. To date, however, little work has been done to quantify what proportion of Canada’s land area might be exposed to anthropogenic noise, and how much noise is out there. This project will use existing sound recordings to produce a map of estimated noise levels across the province of Alberta. This map will estimate, for the first time, 1) how much of the province is subjected to noise levels over and above the natural background; 2) which areas are most severely affected by noise pollution; and 3) which areas remain relatively free of human noise. This project promises to build upon previous work mapping the impacts of human activities in Alberta, to produce new insights into patterns of anthropogenic noise.

Richard Hedley
Faculty Supervisor: 
Erin Bayne
Partner University: