How 'loud' is underwater noise compared with air noise?

Dick Hazelwood, Magnus Wahlberg

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleCommunication


The concept of loudness involves psychoacoustic questions, which need to be answered by the creature involved. Most creatures including humans are ill equipped to compare noise underwater with that in air, but evolutionary forces will have optimized the performance of amphibians in both media. Sound pressure levels (SPL) are used in fluids to measure audiogram thresholds, the decibel level at which signal detection is possible in quiet conditions. New data shows that these differences are markedly reduced by the presentation of thresholds as intensity for selected amphibious species.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAcoustics Bulletin
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)38-41
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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