Skip to Main Content
During July and August of 1996, the summer component of the New England shelfbreak front PRIMER experiment was fielded in the Mid-Atlantic Bight, at a site due south of Martha's Vineyard, MA. This study produced acoustic transmission data from a network of moored sources and receivers in conjunction with very-high-resolution oceanography measurements. This paper analyzes receptions at the northeast array receiver from two 400 Hz acoustic tomography sources, with the transmission paths going from the continental slope onto the continental shelf. These data, along with forward acoustic-propagation modeling based on moored oceanographic data, SeaSoar hydrography measurements, and bottom measurements, reveal many new and interesting aspects of acoustic propagation in a complicated slope-shelf environment. For example, one sees that both the shelfbreak front and tidally generated soliton internal wave packets produce stronger mode coupling than previously expected, leading to an interesting time-and-range-variable population of the acoustic normal modes. Additionally, the arrival time wander and the signal spread of acoustic pulses show variability that can be attributed to the presence of a frontal meander and variability in the soliton field. These and other effects are discussed in this paper, with an emphasis on creating a strong connection between the environmental measurements and the acoustic field characteristics.