Acoustic scattering from density and sound speed gradients: modeling of oceanic pycnoclines. Academic Article uri icon


  • A weak-scattering model that allows prediction of acoustic scattering from oceanic pycnoclines (and the accompanying sound speed gradients) based on hydrographic profiles is described. Model predictions, based on profiles from four locations, indicate that scattering from oceanic pycnoclines is measurable using standard scientific sonars operating at frequencies up to 200 kHz but generally only for pycnocline thicknesses less than 10 m. Accurate scattering models are key to assessing whether acoustic remote sensing can be used to map oceanic pycnoclines and for determining whether scattering from pycnoclines needs to be taken into account when estimating, for instance, zooplankton abundance from acoustic data.

publication date

  • January 2012