Effects of Exposure to the Sound from Seismic Airguns on Pallid Sturgeon and Paddlefish - Data Set
Popper, Arthur N.
Gross, Jackson A.
Carlson, Thomas J.
Young, John V.
Hawkins, Anthony D.
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This study examined the effects of exposure to a single acoustic pulse from a seismic airgun array on caged endangered pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) and on paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) in Lake Sakakawea (North Dakota, USA). The experiment was designed to detect the onset of physiological responses including minor to mortal injuries. Experimental fish were held in cages as close as 1 to 3 m from the guns where peak negative sound pressure levels (Peak SPL) reached 231 dB re 1 µPa (205 dB re 1 µPa2·s sound exposure level [SEL]). Additional cages were placed at greater distances in an attempt to develop a dose-response relationship. Treatment and control fish were then monitored for seven days, euthanized, and necropsied to determine injuries. Necropsy results indicated that the probability of delayed mortality associated with pulse pressure following the seven day monitoring period was the same for exposed and control fish of both species. Exposure to a single pulse from a small air gun array (10,160 cm3) was not lethal for pallid sturgeon and paddlefish. However, the risks from exposure to multiple sounds and to sound exposure levels that exceed those reported here remain to be examined.
Dataset for publication in PLOS One