Observations of sound-speed fluctuations in the western Philippine Sea in the spring of 2009

Citation:
Colosi, JA, Van Uffelen LJ, Cornuelle BD, Dzieciuch MA, Worcester PF, Dushaw BD, Ramp SR.  2013.  Observations of sound-speed fluctuations in the western Philippine Sea in the spring of 2009. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 134:3185-3200.

Date Published:

2013/10

Keywords:

internal wave spectrum, ocean mesoscale, propagation, tides

Abstract:

As an aid to understanding long-range acoustic propagation in the Philippine Sea, statistical and phenomenological descriptions of sound-speed variations were developed. Two moorings of oceanographic sensors located in the western Philippine Sea in the spring of 2009 were used to track constant potential-density surfaces (isopycnals) and constant potential-temperature surfaces (isotherms) in the depth range 120-2000 m. The vertical displacements of these surfaces are used to estimate sound-speed fluctuations from internal waves, while temperature/salinity variability along isopycnals are used to estimate sound-speed fluctuations from intrusive structure often termed spice. Frequency spectra and vertical covariance functions are used to describe the space-time scales of the displacements and spiciness. Internal-wave contributions from diurnal and semi-diurnal internal tides and the diffuse internal-wave field [related to the Garrett-Munk (GM) spectrum] are found to dominate the sound-speed variability. Spice fluctuations are weak in comparison. The internal wave and spice frequency spectra have similar form in the upper ocean but are markedly different below 170-m depth. Diffuse internal-wave mode spectra show a form similar to the GM model, while internal-tide mode spectra scale as mode number to the minus two power. Spice decorrelates rapidly with depth, with a typical correlation scale of tens of meters.

Notes:

n/a

Website

DOI:

10.1121/1.4818784