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Dynamic ocean processes produce small thermal variations that induce spatial and temporal variability in the ocean's index of refraction and in the spatial scale along an acoustic propagation path. This paper reports measurements and analysis of thermal microstructure effects on ping-to-ping amplitude and phase variability of shallow-water direct-path acoustic propagation in the 20-200 kHz frequency range. These measurements were conducted during a joint experiment conducted by the Naval Research Laboratory and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT) Undersea Research Centre, La Spezia, Italy, in 8 m of water off American Beach, located between Pisa and Livorno, Italy. Experimental observations are compared with predictions for isotropic and anisotropic turbulence, as well as for sea-surface swell. Measured phase and log-amplitude variances coincide with predictions and are relatively insensitive to weak water-column stability. The sea-surface swell dominates phase variances for this data and turbulence dominates log-amplitude variances. These results provide a reasonable lower limit on high-frequency ping-to-ping amplitude and on phase variability produced by benign shallow-water thermal fluctuations.