A demonstration of ocean acoustic tomography

Behringer, D, Birdsall T, Brown M, Cornuelle B, Heinmiller R, Knox R, Metzger K, Munk W, Spiesberger J, Spindel R, Webb D, Worcester P, Wunsch C.  1982.  A demonstration of ocean acoustic tomography. Nature. 299:121-125.


Over the past decade oceanographers have become increasingly aware of an intense and compact ocean ‘mesoscale’ eddy structure (the ocean weather) that is superimposed on a generally sluggish large-scale circulation (the ocean climate). Traditional ship-based observing systems are not adequate for monitoring the ocean at mesoscale resolution. A 1981 experiment mapped the waters within a 300 × 300 km square south-west of Bermuda, using a peripheral array of moored midwater acoustic sources and receivers. The variable acoustic travel times between all source–receiver pairs were used to construct the three-dimensional (time-variable) eddy fields, using inverse theory. Preliminary results from inversions are consistent with the shipborne and airborne surveys.