Characterization of impact pile driving signals during installation of offshore wind turbine foundations

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



Impact pile driving creates intense, impulsive sound that radiates into the surrounding environment. Piles driven vertically into the seabed generate an azimuthally symmetric underwater sound field whereas piles driven on an angle will generate an azimuthally dependent sound field. Measurements were made during pile driving of raked piles to secure jacket foundation structures to the seabed in waters off the northeastern coast of the U.S. at ranges between 500 m and 15 km. These measurements were analyzed to investigate variations in rise time, decay time, pulse duration, kurtosis, and sound received levels as a function of range and azimuth. Variations in the radiated sound field along opposing azimuths resulted in differences in measured sound exposure levels of up to 10 dB and greater due to the pile rake as the sound propagated in range. The raked pile configuration was modeled using an equivalent axisymmetric FEM model to describe the azimuthally dependent measured sound fields. Comparable sound level differences in the model results confirmed that the azimuthal discrepancy observed in the measured data was due to the inclination of the pile being driven relative to the receiver.

Publication Title

Journal of the Acoustical Society of America