Characteristics of acoustic propagation to the eastern vertical line array receiver during the summer 1996 New England shelfbreak PRIMER experiment Academic Article uri icon


  • During July and August of 1996, the summer component of the New England Shelfbreak Front PRIMER Experiment was fielded in the Mid-Atlantic Bight, at a site due south of Martha‚Äôs Vineyard, MA. This study produced acoustic transmission data from a network of moored sources and receivers in conjunction with very-high-resolution oceanography measurements. This paper analyzes receptions at the northeast array receiver from two 400-Hz acoustic tomography sources, with the transmission paths going from the continental slope onto the continental shelf. These data, along with forward acoustic-propagation modeling based on moored oceanographic data, SeaSoar hydrography measurements, and bottom measurements, reveal many new and interesting aspects of acoustic propagation in a complicated slope-shelf environment. For example, one sees that both the shelfbreak front and tidally generated soliton internal wave packets produce stronger mode coupling than previously expected, leading to an interesting time-and-range-variable population of the acoustic normal modes. Additionally, the arrival time wander and the signal spread of acoustic pulses show variability that can be attributed to the presence of a frontal meander and variability in the soliton field. These and other effects are discussed in this paper, with an emphasis on creating a strong connection between the environmental measurements and the acoustic field characteristics.

publication date

  • October 2003