Tallinn University of Technology
  • How does underwater ship traffic noise spread in the Baltic Sea?
  • What is the human induced noise level compared to the natural background noise level (caused by waves, rain, etc.)?
  • How has ship noise level changed in recent years and what are the trends lying ahead?

Answers to these and many other questions will be sought on Friday, 9 September in KUMU art museum at the interdisciplinary seminar "Baltic Sea in the era of anthropocene: How does human induced sound affect marine life in the Baltic?". The seminar will be followed by opening of a sound installation in KUMU art museum.

According to one of the leaders of the research on underwater acoustics, professor Aleksander Klauson, the seminar summarises the results of the work of an international research team carried out during five years. "Ship traffic increases throughout the world, including in the Baltic Sea. The growing shipping noise level affects increasingly our marine ecosystem, communication between the fauna and through this presumably also the development of populations. The BIAS (Baltic Sea Information on the Acoustic Soundscape) project is an international EU Life+ project spanning from 2012-2016, involving scientists from six nations around the Baltic Sea, with the aim to study human induced sound in the sea. By measuring the underwater sound for one full year, at 38 different locations, synchronized maps of underwater soundscape were produced, showing how sound from marine vessels affects the soundscape. Marine mammals (in the Baltic Sea these include mainly porpoises and seals) are especially sensitive to underwater noise," professor Klauson explains.

The seminar will begin on Friday, 9 September at 16.00 in the KUMU cafe and will end with the sound installation of a Swedish sound artist Åsa Stjerna, which, among other things, allows you to experience what it is like to hear under water, e.g. if a tanker is sailing by.


  • Introduction by the curator Torun Ekstrand
  • Professor Aleksander Klauson (TUT) A brief introduction to the phenomenon of underwater sound; natural and anthropogenic sources of sound; impact of underwater noise to marine life. BIAS project – scope and goals. From underwater sound recordings to sound propagation modelling
  • Sound artist Åsa Stjerna How to transform research data into an artistic experience? An introduction to the sound installation Mare Balticum, based on sound recordings from the BIAS project

Additional information on the BIAS website: biasproject.wordpress.com/

Kersti Vähi, TUT Research Administration Office