3D acoustic propagation through an estuarine salt wedge at low-to-mid-frequencies: Modeling and measurement
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The estuarine salt wedge presents a dynamic and highly refractive waveguide, the acoustic propagation characteristics of which are controlled by the water column sound speed gradient and boundary interactions. Acoustically, the salt wedge consists of two isospeed layers separated by a thin, three-dimensional (3D), high-gradient layer. The behavior of a broadband (500–2000 Hz) acoustic field under the influence of an estuarine salt wedge in the Columbia River estuary is explored using two 3D acoustic propagation models: 3D rays and 3D parabolic equation. These model results are compared to data collected during the field experiment. Results demonstrate that the dominant physical mechanism controlling acoustic propagation in this waveguide shifts from 3D bottom scatter in a non-refractive waveguide (before the entrance of the salt wedge) to 3D acoustic refraction with minimal bottom interaction in a refractive waveguide (when the salt wedge occupies the acoustic transect). Vertical and horizontal refraction in the water column and out-of-plane scattering by the bottom are clearly evident at specific narrowband frequencies; however, these mechanisms contribute to, but do not account for, the total observed broadband transmission loss.
Author Posting. © Acoustical Society of America, 2019. This article is posted here by permission of Acoustical Society of America for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 146(3),(2019): 1888-1902, doi:10.1121/1.5125258.
Suggested CitationReeder, D. B., & Lin, Y. (2019). 3D acoustic propagation through an estuarine salt wedge at low-to-mid-frequencies: Modeling and measurement. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 146(3), 1888-1902.
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