Map of the United States' quietest and noisiest places

February 17, 2015 11:04 AM

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Map of the United States' quietest and noisiest places

Speaking at the 2015 AAAS Annual Meeting, US researchers showed a coloured map of the quietest regions in the United States, based on 1.5 million hours of acoustical monitoring from places as remote as Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and as urban as New York City. Apparently, the eastern half of the country is much more loud than the western half. The West coast seems to be an exception, but that’s not all that surprising considering LA and New York. Deep blue regions like the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado are among the quietest in the country – here a background noise lower than 20 decibels is seen, very similar to that found in pre-colonial times, according to the researchers. The busy cities, however, are orders of magnitude louder, standing somewhere between 50 to 60 decibels.

By definition, noise pollution takes place when there is either excessive amount of noise or an unpleasant sound that causes temporary disruption in the natural balance. This definition is usually applicable to sounds or noises that are unnatural in either their volume or their production. Our envir...

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