Structural Acoustic Analysis of Piles

A technical committee of representatives from participating states will identify common research needs, select projects for funding and oversee implementation of results. Specific research activities addressed within the program will include, but not be limited to: investigating how the characteristics of sound produced during pile-driving are influenced by modifications in pile materials, pile shape, hammer characteristics and other variables; investigating means to effectively reduce underwater sounds close to the piles during pile driving with attenuation systems; validating the predictive models during actual construction; synthesizing information from this project with other efforts notably NCHRP Project 25-28- Predicting and Mitigating Hydroacoustic Impacts on Fish from Pile Installation; and developing a guidance document for practitioners. The objective of this project are to: (1) investigate how modifications in pile materials, pile shape, hammer characteristics, the nature of the substratum into which the pile is driven, water depth, the depth to which the pile is driven into the substratum, the load-bearing objective of the pile and other variables influence the properties of noise generated during pile driving; (2) develop and validate acoustical source models of pile driving based on pile materials, pile shape, hammer characteristics and other variables; (3) develop and validate sound field models of the effects of sound attenuation systems on the sound field close to piles. This includes defining the limits of the near field for different physical conditions (that is, size and shape of pile, depth of water, wavelengths of interest); (4) develop guidance for departments of transportation (DOTs) and other entities to select appropriate materials, methods and noise reduction strategies for pile driving projects; and (5) identify additional ranked research topics necessary to address regulatory or other concerns as necessary to adequately address practical application solutions.