Modeling of road traffic noise and estimated human exposure in Fulton County, Georgia, USA

Jeong C. Seong, Tae H. Park, Joon H. Ko, Seo I. Chang, Minho Kim, James B. Holt, Mohammed R. Mehdi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Environmental noise is a major source of public complaints. Noise in the community causes physical and socio-economic effects and has been shown to be related to adverse health impacts. Noise, however, has not been actively researched in the United States compared with the European Union countries in recent years. In this research, we aimed at modeling road traffic noise and analyzing human exposure in Fulton County, Georgia, United States. We modeled road traffic noise levels using the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration Traffic Noise Model implemented in SoundPLAN® After analyzing noise levels with raster, vector and façade maps, we estimated human exposure to high noise levels. Accurate digital elevation models and building heights were derived from Light Detection And Ranging survey datasets and building footprint boundaries. Traffic datasets were collected from the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Atlanta Regional Commission. Noise level simulation was performed with 62 computers in a distributed computing environment. Finally, the noise-exposed population was calculated using geographic information system techniques. Results show that 48% of the total county population [N. = 870,166 residents] is potentially exposed to 55 dB(A) or higher noise levels during daytime. About 9% of the population is potentially exposed to 67 dB(A) or higher noises. At nighttime, 32% of the population is expected to be exposed to noise levels higher than 50 dB(A). This research shows that large-scale traffic noise estimation is possible with the help of various organizations. We believe that this research is a significant stepping stone for analyzing community health associated with noise exposures in the United States.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1336-1341
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironment International
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Exposed population
  • Façade map
  • Fulton County
  • Noise map
  • Noise simulation
  • Traffic noise


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling of road traffic noise and estimated human exposure in Fulton County, Georgia, USA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this