Sound propagation over soft ground without and with crops and potential for surface transport noise attenuation

IMRAN Bashir, Shahram Taherzadeh, Ho-Chul Shin, Keith Attenborough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Growing demand on transportation, road, and railway networks has resulted in increased levels of annoyance from road traffic. Optimized use of green surfaces in combination with vegetation may be desirable as a method for reducing the noise impact of road traffic in urban and rural environments. Sound propagation over soft ground and through crops has been studied through outdoor measurements at short and medium ranges and through predictions. At lower frequencies, ground effect is dominant, and there is little or no attenuation due to crops. At higher frequencies above 3–4 kHz, the attenuation in crops is dominant. It was also found that the ground effects and the influence of crops can be treated independently and can be added to obtain the total effect. Sound attenuation by crops is the result of multiple scattering between the stems and leaves, loss of coherence, and viscous and thermal losses due to foliage. The major contribution is associated with viscous and thermal losses. A model for sound attenuation by vegetation is proposed. Insertion losses for a typical road traffic noise source have been calculated that result either by replacing hard ground with different types of acoustically soft ground or by growing crops along the road sides.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-164
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number154
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2015


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