Seventh Framework Programme SONIC
Ship Underwater Radiated Noise Database

About the Repository

This site is powered by EPrints 3, free software developed by the University of Southampton.

About the SONIC Database

This website has been developed by the University of Southampton as part of the European Union (EU) funded SONIC project. See the SONIC Project Homepage for more details.

The purpose of this site is to provide easy and open access to data from measurements of radiated noise from ships. The database was initially set up to contribute to the aims of the SONIC project using data from published sources such as journal articles and commercial reports and also from ship radiated noise measurements carried out as part of the SONIC project. However, any registered user is able to upload their own data to the site and are strongly encouraged to do so.

All users should be fully aware that the data added to the database is publically accessible to anyone visiting the website regardless of whether or not they are registered users. Users should, therefore, only add data that they have permission to make publically accessible.

This database is administered by staff at the University of Southampton, UK. However, the data contained on it are not independently reviewed, vetted or checked by the University of Southampton. Please read the Disclaimer for further information.

Any questions relating to individual datasets should be directed to the organisation responsible for the measurements using the contact details provided.

Contact Information

Any correspondence concerning this specific repository should be sent to

Background information

The SONIC project has been undertaken in response to a requirement for EU member states to demonstrate that underwater noise introduced into the marine environment does not harm marine life. Underwater radiated noise from shipping has been identified as a significant contributor to overall ambient levels of underwater noise in the oceans and therefore an improved understanding of this noise source is required.

A brief list of useful references is provided below:

Ambient noise

  • Andrew, R. K., Howe, B. M. & Mercer, J. A. (2011). "Long-time trends in ship traffic noise for four sites off the North American West Coast." J Acoust Soc Am, 129, 642-651.
  • McDonald, M. A., Hildebrand, J. A. & Wiggins, S. M. (2006). "Increases in deep ocean ambient noise in the Northeast Pacific west of San Nicolas Island, California." J Acoust Soc Am, 120, 711-718.
  • McDonald, M.A., Hildebrand, J.A., Wiggins, S.M., Ross, D., (2008). "A 50 year comparison of ambient ocean noise near San Clemente Island: A bathymetrically complex coastal region off Southern California." J Acoust Soc Am 124 (4), 1985-1992.

Legislation, Standards and class notations

  • European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (2008). Directive 2008/56/EC. "Establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive)." Official Journal of the European Union
  • ANSI/ASA (2009). "Quantities and Procedures for Description and Measurement of Underwater Sound from Ships- Part 1: General Requirements." American National Standards Institute/Acoustical Society of America.
  • DNV (2010). "Rules for Classification of Ships. SILENT Class Notation." Det Norske Veritas AS.
  • ISO (2012). "Acoustics - Quantities and procedures for description and measurement of underwater sound from ships. General requirements for measurements in deep water." International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
  • Bureau Veritas (2014). "Underwater Radiated Noise (URN)." Rule Note NR614 DT R00 E