Look: The Loudest, Quietest Places in America

If you want silence, you may want to move to the West Coast.

After combing through 1.5 million hours of audio recordings, researchers with the National Park Service used an algorithm to predict the loudness of an average summer day in various regions across America.

The algorithm incorporated factors like street traffic, flight volume and air quality.

In the first "Existing" map of the data below, the lighter regions show where America is the loudest, while the darker regions are the quietest. The map shows that the eastern half of the United States brings the noise. 

Noise levels in the largest cities in America reach an average level of 50 to 60 decibels, while some places in the west see levels less than 20 decibels.

Meanwhile, the "Natural" map shows what noise levels might be if human contributions were decreased. The "Impact" map represents the differences between the first and second map.

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The maps were released February 16 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

You can read the full noise report here.

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