Departmental Papers (EES)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

February 2002


A novel range-dependent propagation effect occurs when a source is placed on the seafloor in shallow water with a downward refracting sound speed profile, and sound waves propagate down a slope into deep water. Under these conditions, small grazing-angle sound waves slide along the bottom downward and outward from the source until they reach the depth of the sound channel axis in deep water, where they are detached from the sloping bottom and continue to propagate outward near the sound channel axis. This "mudslide" effect is one of a few robust and predictable acoustic propagation effects that occur in range-dependent ocean environments. As a consequence of this effect, a bottom mounted source in shallow water can inject a significant amount of acoustic energy into the axis of the deep ocean sound channel that can then propagate to very long ranges. Numerical simulations with a full-wave range-dependent acoustic model show that the Kaneohe experiment had the appropriate source, bathymetry, and sound speed profiles that allows this effect to operate efficiently. This supports the interpretation that some of the near-axial acoustic signals, received near the coast of California from the bottom mounted source located in shallow water in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii, were injected into the sound channel of the deep Pacific Ocean by this mechanism. Numerical simulations suggest that the mudslide effect is robust.


Copyright ASA. Reprinted from Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Volume 111, Issue 2, February 2002, pages 757-762 .
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Date Posted: 27 July 2005

This document has been peer reviewed.