Index of content:
Volume 129, Issue 5, May 2011
- UNDERWATER SOUND 
129(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3557044View Description Hide Description
Measurements of marine surface winds are crucial to understanding mechanical and thermodynamic forces on the ocean. Satellite measurements of surface winds provide global coverage but are problematic at high wind speeds. Acoustic techniques of wind speed retrieval, and even for tracking hurricanes, have been suggested as an alternative since wind is a strong source of ambient noise in the ocean. Such approaches involve near-local measurements with bottom-mounted hydrophones located close to the area of interest. This paper suggests a complementary approach: measuring directivity of low-frequency ambient noise in the horizontal plane. These measurements would employ long vertical line arrays (VLAs) spanning a significant portion of the ocean waveguide. Two VLAs separated by a distance of some tens of kilometers and coherently measuring acoustic pressure form a single oceaninterferometer. By sampling the area of interest from different perspectives with at least two interferometers, marine surface winds might be mapped over horizontal scales of the order of 1000 km with about 10 km resolution (more specifically, the 10 km resolution here means that contribution from the basis functions representing surface wind field with the scale of spatial variations of the order of 10 km can be resolved; independent retrieval of the wind within 104 cells of a corresponding grid is hardly possible). An averaging time required to overcome statistical variability in the noise field is estimated to be about 3 h. Numerical simulations of propagation conditions typical for the North Atlantic Ocean are presented.
129(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3569733View Description Hide Description
Field experiments and numerical simulation show that due to scattering from internal-wave-induced sound speed perturbations, the sound energy at megameter ranges penetrates well below the unperturbed timefront, i.e., into the geometric shadow. Shadow zone arrivals form continuations of cusps of the timefront. In the present paper, this effect is analyzed using a stochastic ray theory derived for statistical description of chaotic rays. Probability density functions for parameters of perturbed rays, including those penetrating into the shadow zone, are evaluated analytically. This made it possible to derive analytical estimates for a vertical extent of shadow zone arrivals and for a coarse-grained distribution of sound energy in the shadow zone. It is shown that the lengths of cusp extensions into the shadow zone grow with range r as r 1/2. A known estimate for the spread of timefront segments in the presence of internal waves is applied for obtaining a criterion of nonoverlapping of the cusp continuations. These results are derived for steep rays whose grazing angles at the sound channel axis exceed 5°.
129(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3569701View Description Hide Description
The waveguide invariant, β, that manifests itself as interference fringes or “striations” in a plot of frequency vs source–receiver separation, is usually thought of as a modal phenomenon. This paper shows that striations can be explained simply through the variation of the eigenray arrival times with range, in short, the variation of the multipath impulse response. It is possible to calculate β for a number of sound speed profiles analytically and to find what β depends on, why it switches from one value to another, how it depends on source–receiver depth, how it depends on variable bathymetry, and how smooth the sound speed profile needs to be for clear fringes. The analytical findings are confirmed by calculating striation patterns numerically starting from eigenray travel times in various stratified environments. Most importantly the approach throws some light on what can be deduced from β alone and the likelihood and utility of striations in reverberation.
129(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3569718View Description Hide Description
Acoustic remote sensing techniques for mapping sediment properties are of interest due to their low costs and high coverage. Model-based approaches directly couple the acoustic signals to sediment properties. Despite the limited coverage of the single-beam echosounder (SBES), it is widely used. Having available model-based SBES classification tools, therefore, is important. Here, two model-based approaches of different complexity are compared to investigate their practical applicability. The first approach is based on matching the echo envelope. It maximally exploits the information available in the signal but requires complex modeling and optimization. To minimize computational costs, the efficient differential evolution method is used. The second approach reduces the information of the signal to energy only and directly relates this to the reflection coefficient to obtain quantitative information about the sediment parameters. The first approach provides information over a variety of sediment types. In addition to sediment mean grain size, it also provides estimates for the spectral strength and volume scattering parameter. The need to account for all three parameters is demonstrated, justifying computational expenses. In the second approach, the lack of information on these parameters and the limited SBES beamwidth are demonstrated to hamper the conversion of echo energy to reflection coefficient.
129(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3562166View Description Hide Description
Passive acoustic monitoring allows the assessment of marine mammal occurrence and distribution at greater temporal and spatial scales than is now possible with traditional visual surveys. However, the large volume of acoustic data and the lengthy and laborious task of manually analyzing these data have hindered broad application of this technique. To overcome these limitations, a generalized automated detection and classification system (DCS) was developed to efficiently and accurately identify low-frequency baleen whale calls. The DCS (1) accounts for persistent narrowband and transient broadband noise, (2) characterizes temporal variation of dominant call frequencies via pitch-tracking, and (3) classifies calls based on attributes of the resulting pitch tracks using quadratic discriminant function analysis (QDFA). Automated detections of sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) downsweep calls and North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) upcalls were evaluated using recordings collected in the southwestern Gulf of Maine during the spring seasons of 2006 and 2007. The accuracy of the DCS was similar to that of a human analyst: variability in differences between the DCS and an analyst was similar to that between independent analysts, and temporal variability in call rates was similar among the DCS and several analysts.