Transportation planning and quiet natural areas preservation: Aircraft overflights noise assessment in a National Park uri icon

abstract

  • Global transportation growth causes several disproportionate impacts on the environment as, for instance, noise pollution which is related to negative effects on human health but also to quiet natural areas decline and biodiversity loss. Besides, sound is a component of ecosystems severely threatened by transportation noise disturbance which is related to negative effects on ecosystem functions. This study deals with aircraft noise impact on natural environments from a multiple innovative perspective. It complementarily combines: noise modeling, field measurements, soundscape audibility, human perception and spatial pattern tools for assessing the chronic growing outdoor noise pollution of ecosystems at landscape scale. Firstly, noticeable soundscape degradation from aircraft overflights has been found causing severe acoustic fragmentation and disruptions in the quietness of a national park in Spain (European Union). Air traffic caused sound pressure levels to increase by approximately 8 decibels from natural ambient levels. Secondly, spatial pattern tools together with noise mapping have been found to be useful in providing decision support for decisions-making through anthropogenic noise impact assessment on the natural environment. Finally, public opinion did not perceive aircraft noise-disruption as being as relevant as that quantified by technical procedures. Although 82% of visitors agree that anthropogenic noise pollution may negatively impact on conservation. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2015
  • 2015