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Mid- to High-Frequency Acoustic Penetration and Propagation Measurements in a Sandy Sediment

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4 Author(s)
Brian T. Hefner ; Appl. Phys. Lab., Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA ; Darrell R. Jackson ; Kevin L. Williams ; Eric I. Thorsos

During the recent 2004 sediment acoustics experiment (SAX04), a buried hydrophone array was deployed in a sandy sediment near Fort Walton Beach, FL. The array was used to measure both the acoustic penetration into the sediment and sound speed and attenuation within the sediment while a smaller, diver-deployed array was also used to measure sound speed and attenuation. Both of these systems had been deployed previously during the 1999 Sediment Acoustics Experiment (SAX99). In that experiment, the buried array was used to make measurements in the 11-50-kHz range while the diver-deployed array made measurements in the 80-260-kHz range. For the SAX04 deployment, the frequency range for the measurements using the buried array was lowered to 2 kHz. The diver-deployed array was also modified to cover the 40-260-kHz range. Unlike the SAX99 deployment, there were no obvious sand ripples at the SAX04 buried array site at the time of the measurements. To examine the role of sand ripples in acoustic penetration over this new frequency range, artificial ripple fields were created. For the high frequencies, the penetration was consistent with the model predictions using small-roughness perturbation theory as in SAX99. As the frequency of the incident acoustic field decreased, the evanescent field became the dominant penetration mechanism. The sound speed measured using the buried array exhibits dispersion consistent with the Biot theory while the measured attenuation exceeds the theory predictions at frequencies above 200 kHz.

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 4 )