Promotores: C. J. ten Cate; M. A. Ainslie. Co-promotor: W. Slabbekoorn
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Underwater sound is a critical tool for aquatic animals that communicate acoustically or exploit environmental sounds to find prey,avoid predators,for orientation.The interference of various anthopogenic and natural sound sources can make it difficult to distinguish biologically relevant sounds and can even cause physical damage to these animals.This has given rise to international concern about possible effects of anthropogenic sound sources on marine life due to increasing shipping traffic,exploitation of oil and gas reserves and the development of new offshore energy sources.In this thesis, the spatial, temporal and spectral distributions of sound generated by anthropogenic and natural sources in the Dutch North Sea are investigated. In order to achieve this aim, the acoustic propagation algorithms are developed;compared with other propagation methods;source characteristics are modelled;and the resulting sound distribution is mapped for each source type.The acoustic insights and mathematical tool box that came out should help policy makers, legislators, biologists and conservationists and may serve in ecological monitoring and impact assessments, guide marine research efforts and may be used to determine potential regions or periods of acoustic conflict between human activities and aquatic life.