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J Acoust Soc Am. 2009 Dec;126(6):2894-904. doi: 10.1121/1.3243301.

Geostatistical modeling of sound propagation: Principles and a field application experiment.

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Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands.


The assessment of noise sources for environmental purposes requires reliable methods for mapping. Numerical models are well adapted for sophisticated simulations and sensitivity analyses; however, real-time mapping of large frequency bands must be based on fast and acceptable computations and honor in situ measurements. In this paper, a real-time mapping procedure of noise exposure is proposed. The procedure is based on geostatistical modeling of spatial variations and applied to a case study taken from an experimental campaign, where a point source was placed on a flat meadow. An analytical approximation of the acoustic field was first computed with the Embleton model. The difference between this approximation and the actual measurements (L(eq15 min) 1/3-octave bands samples from 19 microphones spread over the meadow) showed spatial structure, which has been modeled with a variogram. Finally, the geostatistical technique of kriging with external drift provided an optimal interpolation of the acoustic field data while encapsulating the first approximation from the Embleton model. Systematic geostatistical inference and real-time mapping with the proposed procedure can be envisaged in simple cases.


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