In this paper Creamer's [(1996). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 99, 2825-2838] transport equation for the mode amplitude coherence matrix resulting from coupled mode propagation through random fields of internal waves is examined in more detail. It is shown that the mode energy equations are approximately independent of the cross mode coherences, and that cross mode coherences and mode energy can evolve over very similar range scales. The decay of cross mode coherence depends on the relative mode phase randomization caused by coupling and adiabatic effects, each of which can be quantified by the theory. This behavior has a dramatic effect on the acoustic field second moments like mean intensity. Comparing estimates of the coherence matrix and mean intensity from Monte Carlo simulation, and the transport equations, good agreement is demonstrated for a 100-Hz deep-water example.