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Advances in Acoustics and Vibration
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 402130, 7 pages
Research Article

Ballroom Music Spillover into a Beluga Whale Aquarium Exhibit

1Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati Medical, Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA
2Department of Ocean Engineering, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, RI 02882, USA
3Department of Husbandry, The Georgia Aquarium 225 Baker Street, Atlanta, GA 30313, USA

Received 21 May 2012; Accepted 29 July 2012

Academic Editor: K. M. Liew

Copyright © 2012 Peter M. Scheifele et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


It is not uncommon for modern aquaria to be built with special entertainment areas. There are no known measurements of sound spillover from such entertainment areas into underwater animal exhibits. Entertainment organizations typically prefer to play music for events at 95 and 100 dBA in a ballroom at Georgia Aquarium. Concern over the potential effects of the music and noise on animals in adjacent exhibits inspired an initial project to monitor and compare sound levels in the adjacent underwater exhibits against the typical in-air sound levels of the ballroom. Measured underwater noise levels were compared to modeled levels based on finite element analysis and plane wave transmission loss calculations through the acrylic viewing window. Results were compared with the model to determine how, if at all, the ambient noise level in the Cold Water Quest exhibit changed as a result of music played in the ballroom.