Acoustic field variability induced by time evolving internal wave fields Academic Article uri icon


  • A space- and time-dependent internal wave model was developed for a shallow water area on the New Jersey continental shelf and combined with a propagation algorithm to perform numerical simulations of acoustic field variability. This data-constrained environmental model links the oceanographic field, dominated by internal waves, to the random sound speed distribution that drives acoustic field fluctuations in this region. Working with a suite of environmental measurements along a 42-km track, a parameter set was developed that characterized the influence of the internal wave field on sound speed perturbations in the water column. The acoustic propagation environment was reconstructed from this set in conjunction with bottom parameters extracted by use of acoustic inversion techniques. The resulting space- and time-varying sound speed field was synthesized from an internal wave field composed of both a spatially diffuse (linear) contribution and a spatially localized (nonlinear) component, the latter consisting of solitary waves propagating with the internal tide. Acoustic simulation results at 224 and 400 Hz were obtained from a solution to an elastic parabolic equation and are presented as examples of propagation through this evolving environment. Modal decomposition of the acoustic field received at a vertical line array was used to clarify the effects of both internal wave contributions to the complex structure of the received signals.

publication date

  • September 2000