Friday
September
19
2014
10:55 am
Weather

  Home
  Local News
  State / National / World
  Sports
  Opinion / Letters
  Business
  Arts / Entertainment
  Lifestyle
  Obituaries
  Calendar
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  Classifieds
  DJ Designers
  Archives
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
 
 
 
 

Check out our archive of Dining Guides - Yum!

Obama opens East Coast to oil search
July 18, 2014, 05:00 AM The Associated Press

ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH, Fla. — Opening the Eastern Seaboard to offshore oil exploration for the first time in decades, the Obama administration on Friday approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles.

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's approval of this technology is the first step toward identifying new oil and gas deposits in federal waters from Florida to Delaware.

The sonic cannons are towed behind boats and emit strong pulses of sound every 10 seconds or so, reverberating beneath the sea floor and bouncing back to the surface, where they are measured by hydrophones. Computers then translate the data into high resolution, three-dimensional images.

"It's like a sonogram of the earth," said Andy Radford, a petroleum engineer at the American Petroleum Institute, an oil and gas trade association in Washington DC. "You can't see the oil and gas, but you can see the structures in the earth that might hold oil and gas."

The sonic cannons can be fired consistently for weeks or months depending on the project, and pose real dangers for whales, fish and sea turtles that also use sound to communicate across hundreds of miles. In an environmental impact study of the project, the U.S. government estimates that more than 138,000 sea creatures could be harmed.

Of foremost concern are endangered species like the north Atlantic right whale, with a total population of about 500. The whales use the seas off of northern Florida and southern Georgia to give birth to their calves before their migration north. Since the cetaceans are so scarce, any impact from this intense noise pollution on feeding or communications could have long-term effects, Scott Kraus, a right whale expert at the John H. Prescott Marine Laboratory in Boston, said.

"No one has been allowed to test anything like this on right whales," Kraus said of the seismic cannons. "(The Obama administration) has authorized a giant experiment on right whales that this country would never allow researchers to do."

 

 

Tags: whales, cannons, right, sonic, sound,


Other stories from today:

Woman loses relatives in two Malaysia air disasters
U.S.: Can't rule out Russian role in plane downing
Obama opens East Coast to oil search
 

 
Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
 
  


 
 
 
Daily Journal Quick Poll
 
What do you think of Larry Ellison stepping down as CEO of Oracle?

It will still be his company
Time to pass the baton
It will give him more time for other pursuits
Don't care

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Alibaba shares surge in debut on NYSE
NEW YORK — Alibaba's stock is rising 36 percent in the Chinese e-commerce powerhouse's debut as a ..
Unemployment rates rise in 24 U.S. states in August
WASHINGTON — Unemployment rates rose in nearly half of U.S. states in August, even as employers in..
Arrest made in fatal attack at South City gym
A South San Francisco man was arrested this morning after he allegedly beat another man to death at ..
More >>  
 
 
  
 
  
 
©2014 San Mateo Daily Journal
San Mateo County events