Perry, EA, DJ Boness & SJ Insley. 2002. Effects of sonic booms on breeding gray seals and harbor seals on Sable Island, Canada. J Acoustical Society of America 111(1): 599-609.
Abstract: “The Concorde produces audible sonic booms as it passes 15 km north of Sable Island, Nova Scotia, where gray and harbor seals occur year round. The purpose of this research was to assess how sonic booms affect these seals. The intensity of the booms was measured and three types of data (beach counts, frequency of behavior, and heart rate) were collected before and after booms during the breeding seasons of the two species. In addition to the data taken during breeding, beach counts were made before and after booms during the gray seal moult. The greatest range in overpressure within a single boom was 2.70 psf during gray seal breeding and 2.07 psf during harbor seal breeding. No significant differences were found in the behavior or beach counts of gray seals following sonic booms, regardless of the season. Beach counts and most behaviors of harbor seals also did not differ significantly following booms, however, harbor seals became more vigilant. The heart rates of four gray seal mothers and three pups showed no clear change as a result of booms, but six male harbor seals showed a nonsignificant tendency toward elevated heart rates during the 15-s interval of the boom. These results suggest sonic booms produced by the Concorde, in level flight at altitude and producing on average a sonic boom of 0.9 psf, do not substantially affect the breeding behavior of gray or harbor seals.”