On Equations for the Speed of Sound in Seawater

Dushaw, BD, Worcester PF, Cornuelle BD, Howe BM.  1993.  On Equations for the Speed of Sound in Seawater. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 93:255-275.

Date Published:



pressure, propagation, pure water, sea-water, temperature, velocity


Long-range acoustic transmissions made in conjunction with extensive environmental measurements and accurate mooring position determinations have been used to test the accuracy of equations used to calculate sound speed from pressure, temperature, and salinity. The sound-speed fields computed using the Del Grosso equation [ V. A. Del Grosso, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 56, 1084-1091 (1974)] give predictions of acoustic arrival patterns which agree significantly better with the long-range measurements than those computed using the Chen and Millero equation [ C. Chen and F. J. Millero, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 62, 1129-1135 (1977) The predicted ray travel times and travel time error have been calculated using objectively mapped sound-speed fields computed from conductivity, temperature, depth (CTD) and expendable bathythermograph (XBT) data. Using the measured and predicted ray travel times, a negligible correction to Del Grosso's equation of + 0.05 +/- 0.05 m/s at 4000-m depth is calculated.