Bottom interacting sound at 50 km range in a deep ocean environment. Academic Article uri icon


  • Data collected during the 2004 Long-range Ocean Acoustic Propagation Experiment provide absolute intensities and travel times of acoustic pulses at ranges varying from 50 to 3200 km. In this paper a subset of these data is analyzed, focusing on the effects of seafloor reflections at the shortest transmission range of approximately 50 km. At this range bottom-reflected (BR) and surface-reflected, bottom-reflected energy interferes with refracted arrivals. For a finite vertical receiving array spanning the sound channel axis, a high mode number energy in the BR arrivals aliases into low mode numbers because of the vertical spacing between hydrophones. Therefore, knowledge of the BR paths is necessary to fully understand even low mode number processes. Acoustic modeling using the parabolic equation method shows that inclusion of range-dependent bathymetry is necessary to get an acceptable model-data fit. The bottom is modeled as a fluid layer without rigidity, without three dimensional effects, and without scattering from wavelength-scale features. Nonetheless, a good model-data fit is obtained for sub-bottom properties estimated from the data.

publication date

  • October 2012