Predictions and observations of seafloor infrasonic noise generated by sea surface orbital motion
Lindstrom, Timothy E.
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A model is developed for the prediction of the seismo-acoustic noise spectrum in the microseism peak region (0.1 to 0.7 Hz). The model uses a theory developed by Cato [J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 89 , 1096-1112 (1991)] for an infinite depth ocean in which the surface orbital motion caused by gravity waves may produce acoustic waves at twice the gravity wave frequency. Using directional wave spectra as inputs, acoustic source levels are computed and incorporated into a more realistic environment consisting of a horizontally stratified ocean with an elastic bottom. Noise predictions are made using directional wave spectra obtained from the SWADE surface buoys moored off the coast of Virginia and the SAFARI sound propagation code, with a bottom model derived using wave speeds measured in the EDGE deep seismic reflection survey. The predictions are analyzed for noise level variations with frequency, wave height, wind direction, and receiver depth. These predictions are compared to noise measurements made in ECONOMEX using near-bottom receivers located close to the surface buoys. Good agreement is found between the predictions and observations under a variety of environmental conditions.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Ocean Engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution September 1991