Noise Pollution


I am a researcher in the field of noise pollution. I want to utilize the InVEST software (HRA) to study the impacts of noise pollution on wildlife habitats. Could you advise me on whether noise pollution can be considered a significant threat? If so, I would appreciate guidance on how to proceed with this task.

I would also appreciate it if you could let me know the minimum number of threats required to enter the software. Can the noise level be considered as the only threatening factor?


Hello @Eli and welcome to the forums!

Assuming you have spatial layers of the sources of noise pollution and spatial layers for your wildlife habitats, then it seems to me like you could consider these sources of noise pollution to be a threat in the HRA model. @jade, I wonder if you might have any suggestions about using HRA for this use case?

One thing to keep in mind is that HRA’s distance-based influence and decay calculations are very simple, based on your choice of decay function and the distance from the habitat to the threat. Given that sound will propagate very differently through different media, you may need to, for example, set different maximum radii for sound propagating through, say, a forest, than you would for propagating sound through water.

Sure, you could only input 1 threat and the model should run without issue.

Let us know if you have any other questions,

1 Like

Dear Jame,

Thank you for your time and explanation. Maybe if I explain it this way, I can convey my meaning better. I want to know if, in addition to the land use layer that includes regional threats, can I incorporate a noise pollution map as a separate threat in vector format into the model? or perhaps it is possible to combine the noise source map, noise zoning (to solve the problem of the distance-based influence and decay calculations) and land use map together !! I don’t know it is executable or not. I would appreciate if you could guide me.

Kind Regards,

Hello dear @jdouglass

I am writing to kindly remind you about my previous massage.

Kind Regards,

Hello @Eli sorry about the delay!

InVEST’s HRA model is intended for you to understand risks between the various stressors and various habitats, so I would suggest setting up the model run like this:

  • You have 1 or more layers representing presence of habitats
  • You have 1 or more layers representing presence of stressors
  • The habitats and stressors are identified in your Habitat Stressor Table input
  • The relationships between habitats and stressors (and other things like data quality) are set up in your Criteria Scores Table
  • You select a risk equation and a decay equation for the whole model run

For noise zoning, the easiest way to represent a reduction in noise will be to either

  1. Change your stressor layers to reduce the area where the stressor is present
  2. Change your criteria scores table to represent decreased influence of any given stressor on a specific habitat.

And if you are hoping to compare the effect of noise zoning on risk, you will probably want to set up two scenarios, one with the noise zoning and one without, and compare the spatial outputs.

Hope this helps, and let us know if you have any further questions,

1 Like

Hello dear @jdouglass,

Thank you for your time and good suggestions.

Kind Regards,

1 Like