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Soundings Archive

NMFS Seeks Comment on L-DEO IHA Application for Seismic Survey in Northwest Pacific Ocean
On May 21, 2010, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service published notice seeking comment on an application from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory for an Incidental Harassment Authorization to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting a marine geophysical survey at the Shatsky Rise in the northwest Pacific Ocean, July through September, 2010. L-DEO filed the application pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The IHA, if granted, would authorize L-DEO to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, 34 species of marine mammals during the specified seismic activity.

Comments on the application must be received by NMFS no later than June 21, 2010.

The current record for the application can be reviewed online by going to, and scrolling down to "2010 L-DEO Marine Seismic Survey at the Shatsky Rise in the Northwest Pacific Ocean."

The U.S. National Science Foundation has contributed research funding to the specified activity. L-DEO plans to use one source vessel, the R/V Marcus G. Langseth , a seismic airgun array, and ocean bottom seismometers to conduct a geophysical survey at the Shatsky Rise, a large igneous plateau in the northwest Pacific Ocean. The proposed survey will provide data necessary to decipher the crustal structure of the Shatsky Rise; may address major questions of Earth history, geodynamics, and tectonics; could impact the understanding of terrestrial magmatism and mantle convection; and may obtain data that could be used to improve estimates of regional earthquake occurrence and distribution. In addition to the proposed operations of the seismic airgun array, L-DEO intends to operate a multibeam echosounder and a sub-bottom profiler continuously throughout the survey.

  • Click here to read NMFS' Federal Register notice of L-DEO IHA application

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