Effects of East China Sea shallow-water environment on acoustic propagation Academic Article uri icon


  • Operational environmental acoustics experiments were conducted over the frequency range of 25 to 800 Hz in September 1997 in the East China Sea, where the water depth was about 100 in. Objectives of the data analysis reported here are to characterize this environment and to assess its complexities as they may impact acoustic propagation as measured by its transmission loss (TL). Conductivity-temperature-depths and expendable bathy-thermographs sampled the ocean, such that its spatial and temporal variability could be approximately separated. The sound-speed profiles are downward refracting, involve two water masses associated with the Kuroshio Current and Taiwan Warm Current, and have thermocline variations caused by internal tides. The bottom geoacoustic characteristics, presumed to be approximately horizontally isotropic, were based on data atlases and were estimated from the measured TL, for some interpretations. The TL data were obtained in octave bands from explosive signal underwater sound sources and sonobuoy receivers, both deployed at a depth of about 18 m. Tests were conducted in directions approximately normal and parallel to the bathymetric contours and the measured TL was, to zero order, independent of the direction of propagation. To higher order, directional differences in the TL were observed and ascribed to anisotropies in bottom properties. A state-of-the-art TL model was adopted, based on environmental idealizations typical of operational forecasting and compared with the measured TL. The comparison yields a probability density function that quantifies the uncertainty of such a TL model, caused by the stochastic variability of the environment, typically unknown a priori. For the model used, the pdf has a standard deviation of about 2 dB from 50 to 800 Hz and larger below 50 Hz.

publication date

  • April 2003