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Sweeney, AD, Chadwell DC, Hildebrand JA, Spiess FN.  2005.  Centimeter-Level Positioning of Seafloor Acoustic Transponders from a Deeply-Towed Interrogator. Marine Geodesy. 28:39-70.: Taylor & Francis   10.1080/01490410590884502   AbstractWebsite

An array of three seafloor transponders was acoustically surveyed to centimeter precision with a deeply-towed interrogator. Measurements of two-way acoustic travel time and hydrostatic pressure made as the interrogator was towed above the array were combined in a least-squares adjustment to estimate the interrogator and transponder positions in two surveys spanning two years. No transponder displacements were expected at this site in the interior of the Juan de Fuca Plate (48?11? N, 127?12? W) due to the lack of active faults. This was confirmed to a precision of ±2 cm by least-squares adjustment. Marginally detectable blunders in the observations were shown to affect the transponder position estimates by no more than 3 mm, demonstrating the geometric strength of the data set. The accumulation of many hundreds of observations resulted in a significant computational burden on the least-squares inversion procedure. The sparseness of the normal matrix was exploited to reduce by a factor of 1000 the number of calculations. The acoustic survey results suggested that the near-bottom sound speed fields during the two surveys were in better agreement than inferred from yearly single-profile conductivity, temperature, and pressure (CTD) measurements.

Sweeney, AD, Chadwell CD, Hildebrand JA.  2006.  Calibration of a seawater sound velocimeter. IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering. 31:454-461.   10.1109/joe.2004.836582   AbstractWebsite

We calibrated a sound velocimeter to a precision of +/- 0.034 m/s using Del Grosso's sound-speed equation for seawater at temperatures of 2, 7.2, 11.7, and 18 degrees C in a tank of seawater of salinity 33.95 at one atmosphere. The sound velocimeter measures the time-of-flight of a 4-MHz acoustic pulse over a 20-cm path by adjusting the carrier frequency within a 70-kHz band until the pulse and its echo are inphase. We used the adjustable carrier frequency to determine the internal timing characteristics of the sound velocimeter to nanosecond precision. Similarly, sound-speed measurements at four different temperatures determined the acoustic pathlength to micrometer precision. The velocimeter was deployed in the ocean from the surface to 4500 dbar alongside conductivity, temperature, and pressure sensors (CTD). We demonstrated agreement of +/- 0.05 m/s (three parts in 10(5))-with CTD-derived sound speed using Del Grosso's seawater equation from 500 to 4500 dbar after removing a bias and a trend.

Spiess, FN, Chadwell CD, Hildebrand JA, Young LE, Purcell GH, Dragert H.  1998.  Precise GPS/Acoustic positioning of seafloor reference points for tectonic studies. Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors. 108:101-112.   10.1016/s0031-9201(98)00089-2   AbstractWebsite

Global networks for crustal strain measurement provide important constraints for studies of tectonic plate motion and deformation. To date, crustal strain measurements have been possible only in terrestrial settings: on continental plates and island sites within oceanic plates. We report the development of technology for horizontal crustal motion determination at seafloor sites, allowing oceanic plates to be monitored where islands are not available. Seafloor crustal monitoring is an important component of global strain measurement because about 70% of the Earth's surface is covered by water, and this region contains most of the tectonic plate boundaries and zones of crustal deformation. Using the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites and underwater acoustics, we have established a geodetic reference site on the Juan de Fuca plate at 2.6 km depth, approximately 150 km off the northwest coast of North America. We measure the baselines between this site and two terrestrial GPS stations on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The Juan de Fuca plate site is an appropriate setting to develop seafloor observation methods, since it is a well studied area, easily accessible from west coast Canadian and United States ports. Determination of seafloor motion at this site addresses questions related to convergence between the Juan de Fuca and North American plates across the Cascadia Subduction Zone. At the Juan de Fuca seafloor geodetic reference site, we installed precision acoustic transponders on the seafloor, and measured ranges to them from a sound source at a surface platform (ship or buoy), The platform is equipped with a set of three GPS antennas allowing determination of the sound source position at times of signal transmission and reception. Merging the satellite and acoustic data allows determination of the transponder network location in global reference frame coordinates. Data processing to date suggests repeatabilities of +/-0.8 cm north and +/- 3.9 cm east in the seafloor transponder network position relative to reference points on Vancouver Island. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.