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Naval Oceanographic Office

Stennis Space
Reference Publication
Center
RP 33
MS 39522-5001 July 1986, Revised April 1999

RP 33

FLEET OCEANOGRAPHIC AND ACOUSTIC


REFERENCE MANUAL

Littoral -

defined as the region which


horizontally encompasses the land/watermass
interface from fifty (50) statute miles ashore to
two hundred (200) nautical miles at sea;
extends vertically from the bottom of the
ocean to the top of the atmosphere and from
the land surface to the top of the atmosphere.

Distribution limited to DOD and DOD contractors only;


administrative/operational use; April 1999. Other
requests for this document shall be referred to
Commanding Officer, Naval Oceanographic Office.

Prepared under the authority of


Commander
Naval Meteorology and
Oceanography Command

FOREWORD
This Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) publication supercedes Reference
Publication RP 33, Fleet Oceanographic and Acoustic Reference Manual, dated June 1992. It is
a reference manual covering the basic acoustic, geologic, and physical structure of the deep and
shallow ocean environment.
It is designed to provide a basic knowledge of the ocean environment for fleet users so
that they may effectively apply Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command instructions,
procedures, and products.

Form Approved
OMB No. 0704-0188
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1. AGENCY USE ONLY
2. REPORT DATE
3. REPORT TYPE AND DATES COVERED

REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE

April 1999

Reference Publication

4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE

5. Funding Numbers

Fleet Oceanographic and Acoustic Reference Manual


6. AUTHORS

Naval Oceanographic Office, Code N72, Claimancy Training Division, Tactical Support Branch
7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES)

8. PERFORMING
ORGANIZATION REPORT
NUMBER

Commanding Officer
1002 Balch Blvd.
Naval Oceanographic Office
Stennis Space Center, MS 39522-5001

RP 33

9. SPONSORING/MONITORING AGENCY NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES)

10.
SPONSORING/MONITORING
AGENCY REPORT NUMBER

Commander
Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command
1020 Balch Blvd.
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529-5000
11. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES

First edition in July 1986 with revisions in March 1989, June 1992, and April 1999. The inclusion of names of any specific
product, commodity, or service in this publication is for information purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the Navy,
NAVOCEANO, or COMNAVMETOCCOM.
12a. DISTRIBUTION/AVAILABILITY STATEMENT

12b. DISTRIBUTION
CODE

Distribution limited to DOD and DOD contractors only; administrative/operational use;


April 1999. Other requests shall be referred to Commanding Officer, Naval Oceanographic Office.
13. ABSTRACT (Maximum 200 words)

This publication is designed for use by the meteorology and oceanography (METOC) community and Fleet operators to
familiarize themselves with acoustic and oceanographic information for application to naval operations. Specific subjects are
covered by chapter with references, definitions, and acronyms provided in appendices.
14. SUBJECT TERMS

15. NUMBER OF PAGES

Acoustics, Underwater Sound, Sound Speed Profile, Propagation Loss Curve, Ambient Noise,
Topographic Noise Stripping, Submerged Convergence Zone, Fronts, Eddies, Marine Geology,
Bathythermograph, Figure of Merit, Wind, Waves, Cutoff Frequency, Wavelength, Secondary Sound
Channel, USW, ASW, Half Channel, Diffraction, Surface Duct, Bioluminescence, Sound Intensity,
Sonar, Littoral Water, Shallow Water.

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UL
Standard Form 298 (Rev. 2-89)
Prescribed by ANSI Std. 239-18
298-102

Table of Contents
Page
Foreword
Report Documentation Page
Chapter 1 The Nature of Underwater Sound ............................................................1
1.1

Elementary Aspects of Sound..................................................................1

1.1.1

Wave Motion............................................................................................1

1.1.2

Acoustic Energy vs. Electromagnetic Energy ..........................................2

1.1.3

Speed of Sound .......................................................................................2

1.1.4

Refraction ................................................................................................4

1.1.4.1

Ray Paths ................................................................................................4

1.1.4.2

Snell's Law...............................................................................................5

1.1.4.3

Sound-Speed Gradient ............................................................................6

1.1.4.3.1

Positive Sound-Speed Gradient...............................................................7

1.1.4.3.2

Negative Sound-Speed Gradient .............................................................7

1.1.4.3.3

Isospeed ..................................................................................................7

1.1.4.3.4

Acoustic Reciprocity ................................................................................8

Chapter 2 Propagation Loss.....................................................................................9


2.1

Introduction ..............................................................................................9

2.2

Spreading Loss......................................................................................10

2.2.1

Spherical Spreading ..............................................................................10

2.2.2

Cylindrical Spreading.............................................................................11

2.2.3

Dipolar Spreading ..................................................................................12

iii

2.3

Absorption..............................................................................................13

2.4

Scattering (Reverberation).....................................................................14

2.4.1

Surface Reverberation...........................................................................14

2.4.2

Volume Reverberation ..........................................................................15

2.4.3

Bottom Reverberation............................................................................16

2.5

Bottom Loss...........................................................................................16

2.5.1

Bottom Interaction..................................................................................16

2.5.2

Factors of Frequency and Grazing Angle ..............................................17

2.5.3

Bottom-Loss Data Bases .......................................................................17

Chapter 3 Background Noise .................................................................................19


3.1

General..................................................................................................19

3.2

Ambient Noise .......................................................................................19

3.2.1

Surface-Ship Traffic Noise .....................................................................19

3.2.2

Sea-State Noise.....................................................................................20

3.2.2.1

Wind-Generated Noise ..........................................................................24

3.2.2.2

Sea-State Noise Levels .........................................................................24

3.2.3

Other Ambient-Noise Sources ...............................................................24

3.2.3.1

Precipitation ...........................................................................................24

3.2.3.2

Ice..........................................................................................................24

3.2.3.3

Biologics ................................................................................................24

3.2.3.3.1

Marine Mammals ...................................................................................25

3.3

Self-Noise ..............................................................................................28

3.3.1

Machinery Noise ....................................................................................28

iv

3.3.2

Propeller Noise ......................................................................................28

3.3.3

Hydrodynamic Noise..............................................................................28

3.3.4

Aircraft Noise .........................................................................................29

3.3.5

Circuit Noise ..........................................................................................29

Chapter 4 Marine Geology and Bathymetry ...........................................................30


4.1

Introduction ............................................................................................30

4.2

Bottom Topography ...............................................................................30

4.2.1

Continental Shelf ...................................................................................31

4.2.2

Continental Slope ..................................................................................32

4.2.3

Continental Rise ....................................................................................32

4.2.4

Ocean Basin ..........................................................................................32

4.2.5

Submarine Ridges .................................................................................32

4.2.6

Seamounts.............................................................................................33

4.2.7

Abyssal Hills and Oceanic Rises ...........................................................33

4.2.8

Trenches................................................................................................33

4.3

Bottom Composition ..............................................................................34

4.4

Bathymetry.............................................................................................35

4.4.1

Corrected Bottom Depth ........................................................................35

4.4.2

Active Sensors.......................................................................................37

4.4.3

Convergence Zones ..............................................................................37

4.4.4

Bottom Bounce ......................................................................................37

4.4.5

Bathymetric Interference........................................................................37

Chapter 5 Water Masses, Currents, and Basic Oceanographic Analyses..............39

5.1

General..................................................................................................39

5.2

Sea-Surface Temperature (SST) Charts ...............................................39

5.3

Water Masses........................................................................................39

5.3.1

Ocean Fronts .........................................................................................42

5.3.1.1

Typical Location of World Fronts ...........................................................43

5.3.1.2

Acoustic Effects from Fronts ..................................................................47

5.3.1.3

Determining Frontal Locations from Satellite Data.................................48

5.3.1.4

Frontal Gradients ...................................................................................49

5.3.2

Eddies....................................................................................................49

5.3.2.1

Warm Eddies .........................................................................................51

5.3.2.2

Cold Eddies ...........................................................................................51

5.3.3

Fronts and Eddies in Shallow Water......................................................54

5.3.4

Internal Waves.......................................................................................56

5.4

Currents .................................................................................................56

5.5

Variability of the Ocean Environment.....................................................60

5.5.1

General..................................................................................................60

5.5.2

Scale of Variability .................................................................................60

5.5.3

Detection-Range Calculations ...............................................................61

Chapter 6 Bathythermograph Observations ...........................................................62


6.1

General..................................................................................................62

6.2

Expendable Bathythermographs............................................................63

6.3

Bathythermograph Encoding Procedures ..............................................63

6.3.1

Bathythermograph Log ..........................................................................64

vi

6.3.2

Quality Control of XBT Data...................................................................64

6.4

Bathythermograph Interpretation ...........................................................65

6.4.1

Mixed-Layer Depth (MLD)......................................................................66

6.4.1.1

MLD Computation..................................................................................66

6.4.2

Temperature Gradient ...........................................................................68

6.4.3

Sound Channels ....................................................................................69

6.4.4

Convergence-Zone (CZ) Prediction .......................................................69

Chapter 7 Environmental Effects Upon Sound Propagation in the Deep Ocean ....70
7.1

Depth and Seasonal Effects ..................................................................70

7.1.1

SSPs......................................................................................................72

7.1.1.1

SSP Construction ..................................................................................72

7.1.2

Horizontal Sound-Speed Gradients .......................................................73

7.2

Sound Propagation Paths......................................................................74

7.2.1

Direct Path .............................................................................................74

7.2.2

Surface Duct ..........................................................................................75

7.2.2.1

Shadow Zone.........................................................................................75

7.2.2.2

SLD........................................................................................................76

7.2.2.3

Gradient in the Layer (In-Layer Gradient) ..............................................76

7.2.2.4

Low-Frequency Cutoff ...........................................................................76

7.2.2.5

Wind-Wave Effects on Layer Depth.......................................................78

7.2.2.6

Seasonal Effects on SLD.......................................................................79

7.2.2.7

Gradient Below the Layer ......................................................................80

7.2.3

Half Channel ..........................................................................................80

vii

7.2.3.1

Arctic and Half-Channel Propagation.....................................................80

7.2.3.2

Propagation in Arctic Waters vs. Ice-Free Waters .................................81

7.2.4

Sound Channels ....................................................................................82

7.2.4.1

Secondary Sound Channels ..................................................................82

7.2.4.1.1

Locations ...............................................................................................83

7.2.4.1.2

Cutoff Frequency ...................................................................................85

7.2.4.2

The Deep Sound Channel .....................................................................85

7.2.5

Bottom Bounce ......................................................................................88

7.2.6

Convergence Zones ..............................................................................89

7.2.6.1

Convergence Zone Range.....................................................................91

7.2.6.2

Convergence Zone Width ......................................................................92

Chapter 8 Environmental Effects Upon Sound Propagation in Shallow Water .......93


8.1

Introduction ............................................................................................93

8.2

Environmental Factors...........................................................................93

8.2.1

Sea Surface Temperature (SST) ...........................................................93

8.2.2

Salinity ...................................................................................................93

8.2.3

Layer Depths .........................................................................................94

8.2.4

Sound Channels ....................................................................................94

8.2.5

Water Depth...........................................................................................94

8.2.6

Bottom ...................................................................................................94

8.2.7

Shallow-Water Acoustics .......................................................................94

8.2.8

Shallow-Water Ambient Noise ...............................................................94

8.2.9

Sea-Ice Shallow-Water Ambient Noise..................................................95

viii

8.2.10

Biological Noise .....................................................................................96

8.2.11

Environmental Factor Variability ............................................................96

8.3

Environmental Characteristics of Shallow Water ...................................97

8.4

Propagation Paths .................................................................................98

8.5

Tactical Considerations and Search Planning .......................................98

8.5.1

Slope Enhancement ..............................................................................98

8.5.2

Topographic Shading...........................................................................100

8.5.3

Topographic Noise Stripping (TNS) .....................................................102

8.6

Sensors ...............................................................................................105

8.7

Acoustic Applications...........................................................................105

Chapter 9 Passive Sonar......................................................................................106


9.1

General................................................................................................106

9.2

Passive-Sonar Equation ......................................................................106

9.2.1

Signal Excess (SE) ..............................................................................107

9.2.2

Source Level (SL or LS) .......................................................................107

9.2.3

Propagation Loss (PL) .........................................................................108

9.2.4

Noise Level (NL or L N) .........................................................................108

9.2.5

Total Background Noise (LE or L E) ......................................................108

9.2.5.1

Directivity Index (DI or NDI) ..................................................................108

9.2.6

Recognition Differential (RD or N RD) ....................................................109

9.3

Figure of Merit (FOM) ..........................................................................109

9.4

Passive Sonar Performance Prediction ...............................................110

9.4.1

Variability of FOM Parameters.............................................................110

ix

9.4.2

Probability of Detection vs. Range.......................................................110

Chapter 10 Active Sonar ........................................................................................112

10.1

General................................................................................................112

10.2

Active-Sonar Equations .......................................................................112

10.2.1

Noise-Limited Case .............................................................................112

10.2.2

Reverberation-Limited Case ................................................................113

10.3

Active-Sonar Equation Parameters......................................................114

10.3.1

Signal Excess (SE) ..............................................................................114

10.3.2

Recognition Differential (RD or N RD) ....................................................114

10.3.3

Source Level (SL or LS) .......................................................................114

10.3.4

Target Strength (TS)............................................................................115

10.3.5

Noise Level (NL or L N) .........................................................................115

10.3.6

Propagation Loss (PL) .........................................................................116

10.3.7

Receiver Directivity Index (DI or N DI) ...................................................116

10.3.8

Reverberation Level (RL).....................................................................116

10.4

Active-Sonar Performance Prediction..................................................116

Appendices
A.

Glossary of Terms, Acronyms, and Abbreviations ...............................118

B.

Sound Levels .......................................................................................134

C.

Optical Oceanography .........................................................................145

D.

Bioluminescence..................................................................................158

E.

Tactical Oceanography Reference Packet ..........................................160

F.

FOM Terminology ................................................................................190

R.

References ..........................................................................................191
Distribution List ....................................................................................194

xi

List of Figures

Figure

Page

1-1

Compressional Wave Train..............................................................................1

1-2

Surface Duct, Bottom Bounce, and Convergence Zone Ray Trace


(Full-Path and Near-Surface Illustrations)........................................................4

1-3

Secondary Sound Channel, Bottom Bounce, and Convergence


Zone Ray Trace (Full-Path and Near-Surface Illustrations) .............................5

1-4

Snell's LawTwo Layers ..................................................................................5

1-5

Snell's LawMultiple Layers.............................................................................6

1-6

Positive Sound-Speed Gradient.......................................................................6

1-7

Negative Sound-Speed Gradient .....................................................................7

1-8

Isospeed (Straight-Line) Gradient....................................................................7

1-9

Acoustic Reciprocity (Homogenous Ocean) ....................................................8

2-1

Spherical-Spreading Loss (Loss = 20 Log R) ................................................11

2-2

Cylindrical Spreading Loss (Loss = 10 Log R)...............................................12

2-3

Dipolar-Spreading Loss (Loss = 40 Log R)....................................................12

2-4

Comparison of Spreading Losses..................................................................13

2-5

Surface Reverberation ...................................................................................14

2-6

Volume Reverberation ...................................................................................15

2-7

Volume Scattering Strength vs. Depth and Time ...........................................15

2-8

Energy Partition Due to Acoustic-Wave Interaction with Bottom....................17

2-9

Smooth Curves of Bottom Backscattering Strength vs. Grazing Angle


for Various Bottom Types ..............................................................................18

3-1

Ambient-Noise LevelsTraffic and Sea Height (Modified Wenz Curves) .......21

xii

3-2

Potential Whale Sonar Targets (Western North Atlantic) ...............................27

4-1

Nomenclature of Undersea Geophysical Features ........................................31

4-2

Corrections to Chart Depth or Echo-Sounder Depth to Obtain


True Depth in the Pacific................................................................................36

4-3

Bathymetric Interference................................................................................38

5-1

Sea-Surface Temperatures from the FLENUMMETOCCEN OTIS 4.0


Analysis for the Gulf Stream Region..............................................................40

5-2

Temperature at 400 m Depth from the FLENUMMETOCCEN OTIS 4.0


Analysis for the Gulf Stream Region..............................................................40

5-3

Major Ocean Regions of the Northern Hemisphere .......................................41

5-4

Mean Positions of Ocean Fronts in the Atlantic Ocean..................................43

5-5

Mean Positions of Ocean Fronts in the Pacific Ocean...................................45

5-6

TIROS-N Satellite Infrared (IR) Image ...........................................................48

5-7

Formation of Warm and Cold Eddies from the Gulf Stream...........................50

5-8

Vertical Cross-Section of a Warm Eddy.........................................................52

5-9

Vertical Cross-Section of a Cold Eddy...........................................................53

5-10 Observed Sound-Speed Profiles Across the Polar Front ...............................55


5-11 General Surface Circulation, Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea,
January through December ...........................................................................57
5-12 Averaged Worldwide Currents, Winter (January, February, March) ..............58
5-13 Averaged Worldwide Currents, Summer (July, August, September) .............59
6-1

Sample XBT Recorder Trace.........................................................................63

6-2

Sample Bathythermograph Log .....................................................................65

6-3

Mixed Layer at Surface (Depth = 0) ...............................................................67

6-4

Mixed Layer at DepthExample A .................................................................67

xiii

6-5

Mixed Layer at DepthExample B .................................................................68

7-1

Basic Temperature and Sound-Speed Structure of the Deep Ocean ............71

7-2

Sound-Speed Profile Variations.....................................................................72

7-3

Sound-Speed Nomogram (35 Salinity).......................................................73

7-4

Salinity Correction to Sound Speed ...............................................................73

7-5

Horizontal GradientSonar-Bearing Area ......................................................74

7-6

Direct Path Propagation Path ........................................................................75

7-7

Surface Duct Propagation Path with Limiting Rays and Shadow Zone..........75

7-8

Layer-Depth Surface Effect upon Bounced Sound Rays ...............................76

7-9

Surface Duct Cutoff Frequency Nomograph ..................................................78

7-10 Wind-Wave Mixing Action Sequence.............................................................79


7-11 Examples of Below-Layer Negative Gradient Variations ...............................80
7-12 Half-Channel Propagation Path .....................................................................81
7-13 Sound Channel Description ...........................................................................82
7-14 Secondary Sound-Channel Properties ..........................................................83
7-15 Worldwide Locations of Secondary Sound Channels ....................................84
7-16 Sound Channel Low-Frequency Cutoff Graph ...............................................86
7-17 Deep Sound Channel, as Displayed on Geophysical Fleet Mission
Program Library (GFMPL 8.0) .......................................................................87
7-18 Sound-Speed Profile, DSC, and Critical Depth..............................................88
7-19 Bottom Bounce Multipaths .............................................................................89
7-20a Convergence Zone (CZ) Propagation and Terminology ................................90
7-20b Convergence Zone Propagation Path, Undistorted Scale .............................90
7-21 Probability of Convergence Zone (CZ) Occurrence .......................................91

xiv

8-1

Variations of Ambient Noise Near Compact Ice Edge Under


Sea State 2 Conditions ..................................................................................95

8-2

Upslope Enhancement ..................................................................................99

8-3

Downslope Enhancement ..............................................................................99

8-4

Topographic Shading...................................................................................100

8-5

No Topographic Shading with Seamount at One CZ Range........................101

8-6

Topographic Shading with Seamount at One-Half CZ Range......................101

8-7

Topographic Noise Stripping........................................................................102

8-8

In-Layer Source and Critical Depth..............................................................103

8-9

Below-Layer Source, Conjugate Depth, and Resultant Depth Excess.........103

8-10 Procedure for Determining TNS Region ......................................................104


9-1

Signal Excess Probability-of-Detection Curve..............................................111

10-1 Aspect Variation of Submarine Target Strength...........................................115


10-2 Probability of Detection for Various Values of Signal Excess ......................117
B-1

Nomogram for Combining Spectrum Levels ................................................139

B-2

Bandwidth Conversion Curves.....................................................................142

B-3

Ideal Continuous Noise................................................................................143

B-4

Noise Containing Discrete Frequencies.......................................................144

C-1

Standard Relative Luminosity, or Visibility, Curve and


Luminous Efficiency.....................................................................................146

C-2

Reflection and Refraction of a Linearly Polarized Light Wave with its


Electric Vector Parallel to the Plane of Incidence ........................................148

C-3

Reflectance as a Function of Angle of Incidence .........................................149

C-4

Angle of Incidence and Fraction of Light Refracted into Water as a


Function of 2 ..............................................................................................150

xv

C-5

Volume-Attenuation Coefficient of Typical Estuary, Coastal, and Clear


Oceanic Water Compared with that of Distilled Water .................................150

C-6

Volume-Attenuation Coefficient and Attenuation Length L in the


Visible Spectrum for Distilled Water.............................................................151

C-7

Approximate Illumination as a Function of Depth for Several Natural


Light Sources...............................................................................................152

C-8

Geometry and Terms Used in Computing Apparent Target Contrast ..........155

C-9

Contrast as a Function of Viewing Distance for Black and White Objects


When Viewed Downward, Upward, and Horizontally Against Ambient
Background Radiance .................................................................................156

C-10 Apparent Contrast of Black Marks on Diffuse White Target When


Viewed from Different Directions .................................................................157

xvi

List of Tables
Table

Page

1-1

Frequency vs. Wavelength for a Sound Speed of


1,500 m/sec (4,921 ft/sec) ...............................................................................2

3-1

Wind and Sea State Descriptions ..................................................................23

3-2

Characteristics of Large Whales Occurring in the Western North Atlantic .....26

5-1

Names of Ocean Fronts in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans ...........................44

5-2

Names of Ocean Fronts in the Pacific and Indian Oceans ............................46

5-3

Classification of Ocean Fronts .......................................................................49

5-4

Scale of Variability .........................................................................................60

6-1

Negative Temperature Gradients Required to Compensate for Depth ..........66

7-1

Location and Depths of Secondary Sound Channels ....................................84

7-2

Typical Convergence Zone Ranges...............................................................92

8-1

Environmental Factors Affecting Shallow-Water Variability ...........................96

8-2

Aspects of the Shallow-Water Environment...................................................97

8-3

Aspects of Shallow-Water Acoustics .............................................................97

8-4

Aspects of Shallow-Water Operations ...........................................................97

B-1

Sound-Pressure Level Conversion Factors .................................................135

B-2

Common Decibel Equivalents......................................................................136

B-3

Sound-Pressure Levels of Common Noises ................................................140

B-4

Bandwidth as Percentages and Selected Conversions ...............................143

C-1

Ground-Level Illumination from Several Common Sources .........................146

xvii

Chapter 1
The Nature of Underwater Sound

1.1 Elementary Aspects of Sound


All sound, whether produced by a cowbell or by a complicated electronic device,
behaves in much the same manner. Sound originates as a wave motion produced by a
vibrating source and requires an elastic medium such as air or water for its
transmission. For example, consider the action of a vibrating piston located at one end
of a rigid pipe containing water. Because water is elastic, the motion initiated by the
piston is communicated to adjacent particles, causing changes in pressure, in the form
of alternate compressions and rarefactions, as illustrated in figure 1-1. This series of
compressions and rarefactions constitutes a wave train, which is propagated down the
pipe at the speed of sound. The changes in pressure can be detected by pressuresensitive devices such as hydrophones.

Compression
Phase

Sound
Source

Rarefaction
Phase
Figure 1-1. Compressional Wave Train.
1.1.1 Wave Motion. Sound waves in water are longitudinal waves, because the
particles transmitting the wave move back and forth in the direction of the propagation
of the wave. When the motion of the particles is perpendicular to the direction of the
wave, the wave is a transverse wave, an example of which is the motion of a rope when
it is snapped like a whip.
The frequency of the sound wave is determined by the motion of the vibrating
source. For a single frequency, wavelength is defined as the distance between
successive compression maxima. Frequency, wavelength, and sound speed are related
by the following expression:

C
=
f
where,

C
f

wavelength

sound speed

frequency

In the metric (MKS) system of units, is expressed in meters, c in meters per


second, and f in hertz (Hz; cycles per second). The English system of feet, feet per
second, and Hz is also used for , c, and f in underwater acoustic applications.
Frequencies below 20 Hz and above 20 kHz are commonly referred to as
infrasonic and ultrasonic, respectively. Frequencies in the audio range are from 20 Hz
to 20 kHz. At infrasonic frequencies, the wavelength is very long, whereas at ultrasonic
frequencies it is very short.
For a typical sound speed of 1,500 meters/second in water, the wavelength
would correspond to frequency in the following manner:
Table 1-1. Frequency vs. Wavelength for a Sound Speed of 1,500 m/sec (4,921 ft/sec).
Frequency
(Hz)
10
50
100
500

Wavelength
(meters/feet)
150/492
30/98
15/49
3/10

Frequency (KHz)
1
5
10
50

Wavelength
(meters/feet)
1.5/4.9
0.3/1
0.15/.49
0.03/.01

1.1.2 Acoustic Energy vs. Electromagnetic Energy. In a conductive medium such as


seawater, electromagnetic energy in the form of light or radio waves is attenuated at
about 1.3 x 103 f2 dB for each thousand yards of transmission, where f is expressed in
kHz. Maximum penetration is only a few hundred feet. (See appendix B for an
explanation of decibels [dB].)
At lower sonar frequencies, acoustic energy is attenuated at roughly 0.01 dB per
thousand yards; consequently, sound waves can travel hundreds of miles underwater.
Sound energy, therefore, propagates through the ocean with far greater efficiency than
does electromagnetic energy.
1.1.3 Speed of Sound. The speed of sound in the ocean is a function of water
temperature, salinity, and pressure, all of which may vary with depth, season,

geographic location, and time at a specific location. The graphic representation of


variation of sound speed with depth is called a Sound-Speed Profile (SSP). Soundspeed profiles may be obtained either by direct measurement (CTD or XSV) or by
merging and conversion of bathythermograph (BT) temperature measurements and
historical bathymetry and salinity database values in environmental prediction systems.
Historically, the speed of sound, a scalar quantity having magnitude only, has
been called the sound velocity; hence the term Sound-Velocity Profile or SVP. The
term velocity, when properly used, indicates a vector quantity having magnitude and
direction; therefore the term Sound-Speed Profile or SSP is a more accurate
description.
Measurements of sound speed in the ocean have led to empirical formulas such
as the following (Wilson, 1960):
Metric Formula: C = 1449.2 + 4.623t - 0.0546t2 + 1.391(S-35) + 0.016d
where,
C = sound speed (meters/second)
d = depth (meters)
t = temperature (o C)
S = salinity in parts per thousand ()
English Formula: C = 4427.2 + 11.962t - .0553t2 + 4.562(S-35) + 0.016d
where,
C = sound speed (feet/second)
d = depth (feet)
t = temperature (o F)
S = salinity in parts per thousand ()
In general, sound speed increases 3.2 meters/second per degree Centigrade
(6.0 feet/second per degree Fahrenheit) about 1.4 meters/second (4.6 feet/second) per
parts per thousand () in salinity, and approximately 1.6 meters/second per 100
meters (1.6 feet/second per 100 feet) in depth. Temperature is usually the most
influential factor in the upper portion of the profile above the point of minimum sound
speed (Deep Sound Channel Axis, DSCA) in deep ocean water. Below the DSCA, the
pressure (depth) effect is dominant over temperature, which is relatively constant.
The effects of salinity in the open ocean are usually minor. (As discussed in
chapter 8, salinity can be a major factor in shallow water.) Values for sound speed in
deep-sea water range from less than 1,433 meters/second (4,700 feet/second) to
greater than 1,554 meters/second (5,100 feet/second).
For more in-depth discussion of bathythermograph measurements and resulting
sound-speed values, see chapter 6.

1.1.4 Refraction. If the ocean were infinite in extent and its physical properties were
homogeneous, sound would travel in straight lines and at constant speed. Sound
propagates along curved paths (rather than straight lines) when the speed of sound
varies either horizontally or vertically. This phenomenon is called refraction and is
described by Snell's Law. (See paragraph 1.1.4.2.)
1.1.4.1 Ray Paths. In discussing refraction, it is convenient to think in terms of sound
as traveling between a pair of ray paths (rays). A ray path is a curve (a straight line in
isospeed conditions) that is at each point normal to a wave front and which defines the
direction of propagation of the wave, that is, the direction in which the motion of a
particle on one wave front is passed on to the next. This geometrical interpretation of
the propagation of sound is only approximate and cannot, at least in its traditional form,
provide the sound intensity in regions in which no ray exists (shadow zones). A ray
diagram presents a qualitative picture of sound propagation, as shown in figures 1-2
and 1-3.

Figure 1-2. Surface Duct, Bottom Bounce, and Convergence Zone Ray Trace
(Full-Path and Near-Surface Illustrations).

Figure 1-3. Secondary Sound Channel, Bottom Bounce, and Convergence Zone
Ray Trace (Full-Path and Near-Surface Illustrations).
1.1.4.2 Snell's Law. The basic equation of ray acoustics is Snell's Law, which
describes the refraction of sound rays in a medium of variable sound speed. This law
states that a ray going from a region with one speed will have a different direction in a
second region which has a different speed. The variation in sound speed is governed
by the equation shown in figure 1-4. In this diagram, 1 is the grazing angle of the ray,
and C1 is the speed of the wave in the first region; 2 is the grazing angle of the ray, and
C2 is the speed of the wave in the second region; and C2 > C1. Both angles are
measured relative to the boundary between the two regions.

Sound Ray

Sound Speed
in Layer # 1 = C1
Sound Speed
in Layer # 2 = C2

=
C1
COS 1

C2
COS 2

Figure 1-4. Snells LawTwo Layers.

Snell's Law can be extended to cover multiple layers as shown in figure 1-5. Cx
is the vertex speed. This is the speed of sound in the layer at the point where the ray
becomes horizontal. Snell's Law implies that a sound ray cannot enter a region where
the sound speed is greater than the vertex speed of the ray. The ray becomes
horizontal, then is refracted towards the depth of origin. In a medium having layers of
constant sound speed, the rays seem to consist of a series of connected straight lines.

In a medium in which the speed of sound changes linearly with depth, it can be shown
that the sound rays are arcs of circles. These principles are commonly employed in
analog and digital ray-tracing computers.

1
2
LAYER

1
2

C1
C2

C3

C4

LAYER
SOUND
SPEED

C5
Cx

C1
COS 1

C2
COS 2

C3
COS 3

Cn
= Cx
COS n

Figure 1-5. Snell's LawMultiple Layers.


1.1.4.3 Sound-Speed Gradient. A sound-speed gradient exists where there is a
continuous variation in the speed of sound as a function of a linear dimension, such as
depth. A variation in sound speed with depth is a vertical sound-speed gradient. The
magnitude of the gradient is the change in speed divided by the change in depth. The
amount of ray bending that occurs is directly related to the magnitude of the gradient.
Sharp gradients will cause a greater refraction than weak gradients, and in an isospeed
medium the rays will travel in straight lines. (See figures 1-6, 1-7, and 1-8.)

Range

Sound Speed
D
e
p
t
h

Figure 1-6. Positive Sound-Speed Gradient.

1.1.4.3.1 Positive Sound-Speed Gradient. If the sound speed increases with depth,
the gradient is said to be positive and will produce a ray curvature that bends upward
toward the depth of the minimum sound speed.

Range

Sound Speed
D
e
p
t
h

Figure 1-7. Negative Sound-Speed Gradient.

1.1.4.3.2 Negative Sound-Speed Gradient. If the sound speed decreases with depth,
the gradient is said to be negative and will produce ray curvature that bends downward
toward the depth of the minimum sound speed.

Range

Sound Speed
D
e
p
t
h

Figure 1-8. Isospeed (Straight-Line) Gradient.


1.1.4.3.3 Isospeed. An isospeed layer is one within which the speed of sound is the
same at all points. In an isospeed layer, sound travels in straight lines.
Note that an isothermal (constant temperature) layer is not the same as an isospeed
layer. As paragraph 1.1.3 demonstrates, sound speed increases with pressure (depth),
so that an isothermal layer will exhibit a positive sound-speed gradient. A
compensating negative temperature gradient is required for a resultant isospeed soundspeed profile to exist. A temperature decrease of 0.2oF per 100 feet, or .36oC per 100
meters, of depth at a temperature of 40oF, or 4.44oC, will result in an isospeed profile.

1.1.4.3.4 Acoustic Reciprocity. Between an acoustic source that radiates equally well
in all directions and an acoustic receiver that receives equally well in all directions, there
are a number of different paths along which sound may propagate. These paths might
be reflected from either surface or bottom, or totally refracted within the water column
by undergoing a combination of reflections and refractions. However complicated the
propagation paths may be, the source and receiver can be interchanged (as illustrated
in figure 1-9), and the sound will travel the same paths but in the reverse direction. As
long as the "radiation" and "receiving" characteristics of the source and receiver are the
same, this reciprocity holds.

Figure 1-9. Acoustic Reciprocity (Homogenous Ocean).

Chapter 2
Propagation Loss

2.1 Introduction
As sound travels through the ocean, the pressure associated with the wave front
diminishes. This decrease in pressure is referred to as propagation loss (also
commonly called transmission loss).
Sound propagation loss in water depends on the following factors:
a. Spreading Loss. The spreading of a wave front causes the energy
associated with the wave front to be distributed over an increasingly large area with a
resultant decrease in intensity.
b. Absorption Loss. The conversion of some of the mechanical energy in the
sound wave to heat causes energy losses referred to as absorption losses.
c. Scattering Loss. Suspended particulate matter in the water column scatters
sound energy into directions other than the direction the main wave is traveling. This
results in a reduced sound-pressure level in the wave front.
d. Bottom Loss. When a sound wave strikes the ocean bottom, a portion of the
energy in the wave front will enter the bottom and may be strongly attenuated there.
Resulting losses may prevent some bottom interacting energy from returning to the
water column. The reflected energy associated with the main wave front in the water is
thereby reduced, and the sound-pressure level of the wave is decreased.
e. Surface Loss. Reflection and scattering of sound by the surface of the sea
cause a loss of energy from the main wave. Surface loss increases with sea state and
with frequency.
f. Diffraction Loss. Diffraction concerns the wave motion beyond an obstacle
that has cut off a portion of an advancing wave front. Gradients that result in surface
ducts and shadow zones provide such obstacles. The leakage of sound energy from
surface ducts or into shadow zones, thus out of the main wave, is an example of
diffraction loss.
g. Multipath Interference. The existence of multipaths results in a condition that
permits constructive and destructive interference to occur between energy propagating
in separate paths. As one or more of the paths change with time, fluctuations in
intensity are observed.

The preparation of propagation loss (PROPLOSS) curves or profiles is currently


accomplished by computerized Environmental Prediction Systems, such as the
Geophysics Fleet Mission Program Library (GFMPL), Tactical Environmental Support
System (TESS), or Integrated Carrier ASW Prediction System (ICAPS).
2.2 Spreading Loss
Spreading loss is a geometrical effect representing the regular weakening of a
sound signal as it spreads outward from the source. For a homogeneous lossless
medium, without boundaries, intensity decreases with the inverse square of the range,
a condition that is termed spherical spreading. Under actual environmental conditions,
spherical and cylindrical spreading are the most common, while dipolar may occur at
strong boundaries of surface ducts.
2.2.1 Spherical Spreading. Spreading loss is governed by the inverse-square
spreading law. To illustrate this law, assume the source to be a point that has radiated
a fixed amount of acoustic power (watts, for example) into the surrounding medium. As
the energy travels away from the source, it spreads in the form of a spherical shell.
Since this shell is enlarging as the distance from the source increases, the sound
intensity (watts/meter2) must therefore decrease proportionally. The decrease in
intensity is exactly proportional to the increase in the surface area of the sphere. Since
the surface area is given by A = 4R2, the decrease in intensity is proportional to the
square of the radius. When the radius of the sphere is considered to be the range, the
loss in dB due to spreading between a point a yard from the source and the receiver is
given by:
Spherical-Spreading Loss (dB) = 10 log R2 = 20 log R
where R is the range in yards between the source and receiver.
Spherical spreading occurs when refraction or reflection does not affect the ray
paths. Figure 2-1 illustrates spherical spreading. When refraction effects are present,
the loss can be either greater or less than that given by the spherical spreading law.
Sound intensity decreases as the square of the distance, or 6 dB per distance
doubled. (Since 20 log R - 20 log 2R = 20 log _R = 20 log 1/2 = -6 dB.)
2R

10

Figure 2-1. Spherical-Spreading Loss (Loss = 20 Log R).


2.2.2 Cylindrical Spreading. When the propagation path has upper and lower bounds,
the spreading is no longer spherical because sound does not cross the bounding
planes. Surface ducts and sound channels represent cases in which spreading is less
than spherical, but rather approaches cylindrical. In cylindrical spreading, illustrated in
figure 2-2, the wave front expands in the form of a cylinder having a height that is
determined by the thickness H of the duct or channel. Since this cylindrical shell is
expanding as the distance from the source increases, the sound intensity (watts/meter2)
must decrease proportionally. The decrease in intensity is exactly proportional to the
increase in the surface area of the cylinder. Since the surface area of interest is given
by A = 2RH, the decrease in intensity is proportional to the radius R, which is also the
range. The cylindrical-spreading loss is given by:
Cylindrical-Spreading Loss (dB) = 10 log R
Sound intensity decreases as the inverse first power of the distance, or 3 dB per
distance doubled. (Since 10 log R - 10 log 2R = 10 log _R =10 log 1/2 = -3 dB.)
2R

11

2R
R

2A

Figure 2-2. Cylindrical-Spreading Loss (Loss = 10 Log R).


2.2.3 Dipolar Spreading. Through normal refraction, sound energy above and below a
sound-speed maximum is bent toward lower sound speed. Dipolar spreading may
occur over short ranges at the Sonic Layer Depth and at sound speed maximums along
the SSP, as shown in figure 2-3. The propagation loss due to dipolar spreading is
greater than for either spherical or cylindrical spreading (see figure 2-4). This rapid
reduction in signal (noise) over a short range make the use of dipolar spreading optimal
in submarine counterdetection considerations. In dipolar spreading, the sound intensity
decreases by 1/R4 as range R increases, or
Dipolar-Spreading Loss (dB) = 10 log R4 = 40 log R

Sound Speed

D
e
p
t
h

Dipolar Spreading
SLD

Dipolar Spreading

Figure 2-3. Dipolar-Spreading Loss (Loss = 40 Log R).

12

40

12

18

24

30

36

42

48

54

60

Cylindrical Spreading - Source is in


the Surface Duct at a frequency twice
the Cutoff Frequency.
Spreading Loss = 10 Log R

50
60
70
80
90
100

Dipolar Spreading - Source is at SLD or


at a sound speed maximum.
Spreading Loss = 40 Log R

110
120

Figure 2-4. Comparison of Spreading Losses.


2.3 Absorption
Absorption involves a process of conversion of acoustic energy to heat. As the
sound wave travels through the ocean, it alternately produces compressions and
rarefactions of the water. During this process, some of the acoustic energy is converted
to heat. From theory, we know that for low frequencies (5 to 40 Hz) and for high
frequencies (>1,000 Hz) the absorption is proportional to the square of the frequency.
Measurements of absorption loss in the ocean generally confirm this. The amount of
absorption loss should theoretically also depend on the temperature of the water. As
the water temperature increases, the absorption loss should decrease. This has been
confirmed by measurements. At intermediate frequencies, the absorption varies in a
complicated way with both frequency and temperature (Urick, 1967).
At the lower frequencies, total absorption loss over any acoustic path
(determined by simply multiplying the range by the absorption coefficient), according to
Thorp (in Urick, 1975), is:
40 f2
0.1 f2
a = ------------- + -------------- + 2.75 x 10-4f2 + 0.003 dB/kyd
1 + f2
4100 + f2
where f is the frequency in kHz.

13

Thorp's curve is fitted to empirical data and is valid from about 0.1 to 10 kHz at a
temperature of about 39oF.
2.4 Scattering (Reverberation)
Discontinuities in the physical properties of the medium intercept and reradiate a
portion of the acoustic energy incident upon them. This reradiation of sound is called
scattering. Scattering losses, therefore, involve reflections of sound energy away from
the direction in which the major portion of the sound field is traveling, so that the wave
itself suffers a loss in energy and hence the intensity decreases. Scattering occurs in
several ways. It can be caused by particles in the water such as plankton, oil droplets,
bubbles, and fish, or by reflection from the ocean boundaries. Scattering loss due to
reflectors suspended in the medium (volume scattering) is difficult to measure directly.
Scattering loss due to surface reflections (boundary scattering) can be measured
directly by comparing data taken under a variety of sea-surface conditions. Scattering
loss due to bottom reflection is generally not isolated as a factor, but rather is included
as part of the total bottom-reflection loss described in paragraph 2.4.3. Scattered
energy that is reflected back to the acoustic source is called reverberation and makes
up part of the interfering background in active sonar operations. Scattering is not
important at low frequencies as a factor in the determination of propagation loss.
2.4.1 Surface Reverberation. Surface reverberation (figure 2-5) is due to surface
waves. It is always a factor in active-sonar operations. At short ranges, the surface
scattering increases with wind speed. With higher wind speeds, an acoustic screen is
formed near the surface by entrapped air bubbles, preventing a further increase in the
surface-reverberation level. Surface reverberation from ranges in excess of 1,500
yards is usually lower in level than either bottom or volume reverberation. Wind speed
that correlates with sea state and, to a lesser degree, wind-speed history are the major
environmental factors influencing surface reverberation.

Figure 2-5. Surface Reverberation.

14

2.4.2 Volume Reverberation. Volume reverberation (figure 2-6) is caused by various


scatterers or reflectors in the ocean such as fish, other marine organisms, suspended
solids, bubbles, and even water masses of markedly different temperatures. Volume
reverberation depends upon the number and distribution of scatterers, as well as their
size, shape, and reflectivity. If the density of these reflectors were constant, volume
reverberation would decrease as the inverse square of range (20 dB for each tenfold
increase in range). Volume reverberation is also a function of the frequency used in
echo ranging and is generally greatest at night, when the scattering layer is near the
surface.

Figure 2-6. Volume Reverberation.


Volume scatterers are not uniformly distributed in depth, but tend to be
concentrated in a diffuse layer called the deep-scattering layer (DSL), depicted in figure
2-7.

Figure 2-7. Volume Scattering Strength vs. Depth and Time.


This layer is from 50 to 150 meters thick and is found between 100 and 400
fathoms in tropical waters. The layer or layers may undergo diurnal vertical
movements. There may be more than one scattering layer at a given location. The
topography of the scattering layer may be affected by internal waves (see paragraph
5.3.4), thermoclines, currents, etc. Scattering layers have different characteristics, such
as patchy, split, or nonmigratory, in different water masses. In many parts of the
Northern Hemisphere, the maximum volume reverberation occurs in March and the
minimum in November. The intensity of the scattering is a function of frequency and
the density of the organisms causing the scattering.

15

2.4.3 Bottom Reverberation. Reverberation, regardless of source, may be considered


the unwanted portion of a returned signal and is a problem peculiar to active-sonar
systems. In the case of bottom reverberation, the scattered component of the bottom
return is undesirable. The desired signal in bottom-bounce ranging operations is the
specular return, or the coherently reflected echo. Bottom reverberation, or
backscattering, can severely limit active sonars operating in shallow water or in the
bottom bounce or convergence zone modes.
In theory, bottom backscattering should be directly related to seafloor roughness.
In practice, however, a rigorous relationship between backscattering and seafloor
topography has yet to be established. Much of the theory developed for bottom
reverberation has evolved from that developed for backscattering from the sea surface.
Roughness parameters of the seafloor, however, are not as well known as for the sea
surface, and the wavelength component of bottom roughness can range from microns
(particle size) to miles (abyssal hills). Reflected signals from subbottom layers further
complicate backscattering measurements. Most bottom backscattering models
consider the ocean floor to be a volumetric scattering surface.
Reported bottom-backscatter data generally show little or no frequency
dependence in the range between 0.5 and 80 kHz. However, a Russian study
(Jitkovskiy and Volovova, 1965) reported instances where high-frequency and high
grazing-angle dependence were observed in the range of 1 to 30 kHz over a very rough
seafloor. Conclusions drawn from the study were that when bottom roughness is large
compared to wavelength, the backscattering coefficient is independent of frequency
and when bottom roughness is small compared to wavelength, scattering strength
increases with increasing frequency.
2.5 Bottom Loss
2.5.1 Bottom Interaction. Sound interacting with the ocean bottom will normally suffer
a loss in intensity. Two mechanisms are involved in the decrease in intensity:
scattering and absorption. Figure 2-8 illustrates the bottom-interacting energy paths.
The amount of energy that is lost into or scattered off of the ocean bottom and its
underlying sediments will depend on the bottom roughness, the geoacoustic parameter
of the bottom sediments (sound-speed and attenuation gradients of the sediment and
bulk sediment density), the frequency of the sound wave, and the angle at which the
sound wave strikes the bottom. Further complications occur if the lateral variability in
the ocean bottom changes along the refracted path.

16

Figure 2-8. Energy Partition Due to Acoustic-Wave Interaction with Bottom.

2.5.2 Factors of Frequency and Grazing Angle. Extreme care must be used in
applying generalizations to acoustic performance predictions. Bottom loss will tend to
increase with frequency and grazing angle. Lower frequencies of sound generally
undergo less reflection loss at the ocean-bottom interface and, when combined with the
refracted energy returned to the sediment-water interface, will result in lower loss at all
grazing angles. Refer to the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO)
Environmental Guides and Submarine Tactical Oceanographic Reference Manuals
(STORMs) publications for practical applications. See figure 2-9 for illustrations of
bottom type and grazing angle effects on bottom loss.
2.5.3 Bottom-Loss Data Bases. Bottom-loss measurements have been made in a
significant number of operational areas during surveys sponsored by NAVOCEANO,
the Naval Underwater Warfare Center (COMNAUNSEAWARCEN), and the Naval Air
Warfare Center (NAVAIRWARCEN). These bottom-loss measurements have led to the
development of bottom-loss data bases. The data bases are the High-Frequency
Bottom-Loss (HFBL) data base and the Low-Frequency Bottom-Loss (LFBL) data base.
For further information on bottom-loss values, refer to the STORMs or Environmental
Guides produced by NAVOCEANO.

17

Figure 2-9. Smooth Curves of Bottom Backscattering Strength vs. Grazing


Angle for Various Bottom Types.
(Frequency range 0.5 to 100 kHz. Individual measurements
show deviations averaging about 5 dB from these curves.)

18

Chapter 3
Background Noise

3.1 General
The primary goal in underwater acoustics is to distinguish sounds from the total
background noise. Ambient noise is that part of the total noise background not due to
some identifiable localized source. It exists in the medium independent of the
observer's activity. Interfering noise sources that are located on, or are a part of, the
platform on which a sensor is installed are sources of self-noise. Self-noise is distinct
from ambient noise.
3.2 Ambient Noise
Deep-sea ambient-noise measurements have been made over a frequency
range from below 1 Hz to about 100 kHz. Over this range the noise is due to a variety
of sources, each of which may be dominant in one region of the spectrum. Principal
sources of ambient noise in the frequency range of about 30 Hz to 10 kHz are distant
shipping and wind-generated surface agitation. Other important contributors are rain,
ice, and biological activity. Under certain conditions, these latter sources of background
noise can seriously interfere with detection systems; however, not enough is known
about their occurrence to permit meaningful predictions.
Ambient-noise levels fluctuate in both time and space. Differences of as much
as 5 to 10 dB are frequently observed between readings made only a few minutes
apart. In consequence, "average" noise levels cannot be expected to correspond
exactly to individual measurements or to reflect actual noise conditions during any
particular phase of a tactical exercise. Climatological data concerning the long-term
mean local environment (including wind speed, sound-speed profile, and ship-traffic
distribution) are indicative of average intensities but not of the instantaneous conditions
experienced by a sensor. Whenever precise knowledge of local ambient noise is
required, in-situ measurements of these noise levels should be made.
Ambient-noise levels versus frequency are graphically depicted in figure 3-1 and
are listed in tables in Appendix B.
3.2.1 Surface-Ship Traffic Noise. At the lower frequencies (figure 3-1), the dominant
source of ambient noise is the cumulative effect of ships that are too far away to be
heard individually. The radiated noise spectrum of merchant ships peaks at
approximately 60 Hz, a frequency that corresponds to the maximum in the cavitation
spectrum of typical merchants ships. The spectrum of the noise radiated from ships as
observed at great distances differs from the spectrum at close range due to the effect of
frequency-dependent attenuation. The shape of the radiated noise spectrum of typical
merchant ships, as seen at various ranges (ONR, 1968), clearly suggests that the

19

contribution of ships to the ambient-noise background depends on the distance of the


receiver from traffic lanes or from any other ships' concentrations.
3.2.2 Sea-State Noise. Sea state is a critical factor in both active and passive
detection. In active sonobuoy detection, waves 6 feet or greater will start to produce a
sea-state-limited situation. For shipboard sonar systems, location of the sonar dome,
ship's speed, course, and relation to the sea all have an effect. The limiting situation is
generally sea state 4 or 5. For passive detection, the noise level created by wind waves
of 10 feet or greater will result in a minimum of ASW operational effectiveness,
depending on type of sensor.
Wind waves are produced by surface winds; swells are born of wind waves.
These sea-state parameters are normally depicted on wind wave, swell, and combined
sea-state analyses. The action and interaction of waves and swell are complex. They
may be generalized as reinforcing each other when crests are in conjunction with each
other and dampening when crests meet troughs. The interaction may also result in
amplification when directions and wavelengths are harmonic, and in dampening when
they are in opposition.
The highest wave that will normally be encountered under existing
meteorological conditions can be derived from the wind wave, swell, and combined seastate analysis charts by multiplying the significant height (H 1/3) by a factor of 9/5.
Table 3-1, a wind and sea-state description table, contains an explanation of sea-state
parameters for specific sea states.

20

Figure 3-1. Ambient-Noise Levels - Traffic and Sea Height


(Modified Wenz Curves) (NUSC TD 8063-1, 1988).

21

NOTES ON FIGURE 3-1


1. Along the Gulf Stream and major trans-Atlantic shipping lanes, the heavy
traffic predictor (Curve VI) forecasts average noise within 2 dB at 100 and 200 Hz.
Maximum values usually occur with ships closer than 10 nautical miles, and the values
follow the individual ship's curve (Curve VII). Minimum values vary radically but appear
to group around the average traffic curve (Curves IV and V).
2. For 440 Hz, the predictor curves appear to be 2 or 3 dB too low.
3. Four or more ships closer than 30 nautical miles constitute heavy noise, with
ships closer than 10 nautical miles driving the noise level up to the individual ship's
target curve (Curve VII). Where the bulk of the traffic is farther than 40 nautical miles,
the average traffic curves (Curves IV and V) apply.
4. Correlations of noise intensity with distance to nearest ship, with all ships
present in the shipping lanes, were negative. For areas not immediately in a heavy
traffic area, ship concentration and distance become critical.
Seasonal changes in long-range acoustic propagation can have a significant
effect on low-frequency ambient-noise levels. This phenomenon is attributed to the
more favorable sonar sound reception, or deep sound-channel propagation, during
months of low surface temperature.

22

Table 3-1. Wind and Sea State Descriptions.


WIND
Mean
Velocity
(knots) MPH
1
1

Beaufort
Number
0

Descriptive
Term
Calm

Light Air

13

1-3

Light
Breeze

4-6

4-7

Gentle
Breeze

7-10

8-12

Moderate
Breeze
Fresh
Breeze

11-16

13-18

17-21 19-24

ESTIMATING WIND SPEED


Effects Observed
on Land
Calm; smoke rises vertically

Effects Observed
at Sea
Sea like a mirror

Direction of wind shown by


smoke drift but not by wind
vanes
Wind felt on face/leaves
rustle; ordinary vanes moved
by wind

Ripples with the appearance of


scales are formed, but without
foam crests
Small wavelets, still short but
more pronounced; crests have a
glassy appearance and do not
break
Large wavelets; crests begin to
break; foam of glassy appearance;
perhaps scattered white horses
Small waves, becoming longer;
fairly frequent white horses
Moderate waves, taking a more
pronounced long form; many
white horses are formed (chance
of some spray)
Large waves begin to form; the
white foam crests are more
extensive everywhere (probably
some spray)
Sea heaps up and white foam from
breaking waves begins to be
blown in streaks along the
direction of wind
Moderately high waves of greater
length; edges of crests begin to
break into the spin-drift; the foam
is blown in well-marked streaks
along the direction of the wind
High waves; dense streaks of foam
along the direction of the wind;
crests of waves begin to topple,
tumble, and roll over; spray may
affect visibility
Very high waves with long
overhanging crests; the resulting
foam, in great patches, is blown in
dense white streaks along the
direction of the wind; on the
whole, the surface of the sea takes
a white appearance; the tumbling
of the sea becomes heavy and
shocklike, visibility affected
Exceptionally high waves (small
and medium-sized ships might be
for a time lost to view behind the
waves); the sea is completely
covered with long white patches
of foam lying along the direction
of the wind; everywhere the edges
of the wave crests are blown into
froth; visibility affected
The air is filled with foam and
spray; sea completely white with
driving spray; visibility very
seriously affected

Leaves and small twigs in


constant motion, wind
extends light flag
Raises dust and loose paper;
small branches are moved
Small, leafy trees begin to
sway; crested wavelets form
on inland waters

Strong
Breeze

22-27 25-31

Large branches in motion;


whistling heard in telegraph
wires; umbrellas used with
difficulty
Whole trees in motion;
inconvenience felt when
walking against wind

Near Gale

28-33 32-38

Gale

34-40 39-46

Breaks twigs off trees;


generally impedes progress

Strong
Gale

41-47 47-54

Slight structural damage


occurs (chimney pots and
slates removed)

10

Storm

48-55 55-63

Seldom experienced inland;


trees uprooted; considerable
structural damage occurs

11

Violent
Storm

56-63

64-72

Very rarely experienced;


accompanied by widespread
damage

12

Hurricane

64
and
over

73
and
over

23

WMO
Code
0

STATE OF THE SEA


Height
(H 1/3) of
Descriptive
waves in feet
Term
Calm
0
(Glassy)

Calm
(Rippled)

0 1/3

Smooth
(Wavelets)

1/3 1-2/3

Slight

1-2/3 4

Moderate

48

Rough

8 13

Very
Rough

13 20

High

20 30

Very High

30 45

Phenomenal

over 45

3.2.2.1 Wind-Generated Noise. Sea-state noise generated by surface wave activity is


usually the primary component over a range of frequencies from 300 Hz to 5 kHz. It may
be considered to be one of the most critical variables in active and passive detection. Sea
state is a factor that normally cannot be measured directly with either precision or accuracy.
It is primarily correlated with wind speed, which can be measured and predicted. Each
value of sea state represents a range of conditions, with the boundaries between these
conditions, usually defined in terms of wave height. It has been found possible to deduce
the sea state, and hence, to a rough approximation, the wave height, from the observed
value of wind velocity. Sea-state noise will vary with wind speed. Figure 3-1 relates the
magnitude of water noise with wind speed and wave height for the frequency band between
100 Hz and 10 kHz.
3.2.2.2 Sea-State Noise Levels. The wind-generated noise level decreases with increasing
acoustic frequency (slope of -6 dB per octave) and increases with increasing sea state
(approximately 6 dB for each increase in sea state). It is very important to understand that
all sound-sensor ranges are reduced by additional noise, and that there can be a 20-dB
spread in background noise between various sea states.
3.2.3 Other Ambient-Noise Sources. Ambient noise is also produced by intermittent and
local effects such as earthquakes, biologics, precipitation, ice, and breakage of waves.
3.2.3.1 Precipitation. Rain and hail will increase ambient-noise levels at some frequencies.
Significant noise is produced by rain squalls over a range of frequencies from 500 Hz to 15
kHz. Large storms can generate noise at frequencies as low as 100 Hz and can
substantially affect sonar conditions at a considerable distance from the storm center.
3.2.3.2 Ice. Sea ice affects ambient-noise levels in polar regions. Its influence on waternoise levels is dependent upon the state of the ice, that is, whether it is forming, covers the
surface, or is breaking up. Provided that no mechanical or thermal pressure is being
exerted upon the ice, the noise level generally is relatively low during the growth of ice.
According to investigations carried out in the Bering Sea, the noise level should not exceed
that for sea state 2, even for winds over 35 knots. The same investigation established that
the intensity of the ice noise decreases with increasing frequency during the time the ice is
growing. An exception to this period of relatively low noise level is the extremely noisy
condition (due to entrapped air) resulting from the deformation and temporary breakup of
the ice cover during growth.
3.2.3.3 Biologics. Biological noise may contribute significantly to ambient noise in many
areas of the ocean. Because of the habits, distribution, and sonic characteristics of the
various sound producers, certain areas of the ocean are more intensely insonified than
others. The effect of biological activity on overall noise levels is more pronounced in
shallow coastal waters than in the open sea. It is more pronounced in the tropics and in
temperate zones than in colder waters.
Although many marine animals produce noise of some sort, certain forms are so
dominant that the study of only these few is a key to the prediction of the intensity, space
and time distribution, and spectrum of significant ambient noise originated by marine
animals. By far the most intense and widespread noises from animal sources in shallow

24

water observed are those produced by croakers (representative of a variety of fish classified
as drumfish) and snapping shrimp. Fish, more than crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, and
shrimp), are the source of biological noise in most of the oceans. In addition to croakers
and snapping shrimp, other varieties of noise producers include sea robins, toadfish, grunts,
porpoises, certain whales, and others that are of only local importance. Sound-producing
fishes and crustaceans are restricted almost entirely to bays, reefs, and coastal waters. In
oceanic waters, whales and porpoises are the principal contributors to biological noise.
In order to predict the ambient noise due to marine animals in any one location, one
of two techniques can be used. Either (a) observations of the actual noise can be made
over a period of time sufficient to determine cyclic variations, or (b) a general study of noiseproducing animals can be correlated with a knowledge of the environment to give
reasonable conclusions as to the type and variation of the sounds.
3.2.3.3.1 Marine Mammals. Mammal sounds include a much greater range of frequencies
than do the sounds of either crustaceans or fishes. They have been recorded at as low as
19 Hz and possibly lower (whale sounds), and as high as 196 kHz (porpoise sounds),
although the principal frequencies are in the audible range. During echo-ranging
operations, porpoises have often been heard over equipment responsive only to a narrow
band of ultrasonic frequencies.
Whales produce a variety of sounds, up to 189 dB//Pa, in a frequency range from
20 Hz to 36 kHz. These marine animals resemble submarines in speed, acoustic
characteristics, and certain modes of behavior. A summary of the characteristics of large
whales compiled from a NAVOCEANO study in the Western North Atlantic is included as
table 3-2. Figure 3-2 shows the potential whale sonar targets in the Western North Atlantic
during the month of September.

25

Table 3-2. Characteristics of Large Whales Occurring in the Western North Atlantic
(Levenson, 1969).
SPEED
(Knots)

DIVE/SURFACE
CYCLE (Minutes)

ADULT
SIZE
(Feet)

Avg.

Max.

Blue
Balaenoptera
musculus

70-100

10

Fin
Balaenoptera
physalus

50-80

Sei
Balaenoptera
borealis

SPECIES

ACOUSTIC CHARACTERISTICS
Freq.
Prin.
Source
Target
Range
Freq.
Level
Strength
(Hz)
(Hz)
dB//Pa
dB//Pa
12.5-150
24 Hz
180-189
no data
Hz
19-36 kHz
25 kHz
159

20

Submerged
5-50

Surfaced
2-5

22

4-15

2-5

20-200 Hz

20-40 Hz

170-180

no data

40-55

26

4-12

0.5-2

no data

no data

no data

no data

Minke
Balaenoptera
acutorostrata
Right
Eubalaena
glacialis
Humpback
Megaptera
novaeangliae

25-33

no
data

3-6

<0.5

4-8 kHz

6 kHz

154

no data

45-55

10-20

4-6

100-750
Hz

100-150
Hz

no data

no data

35-55

15

2-23

2-5

0.2-8.0
kHz

200-1600
Hz

154-160
max. 184

95-108 (1/3
octave
bands
centered at
15, 1.0 & 16 kHz)

Sperm Physeter
catadon

30-65

10

15-60

10-15

0.2-32 kHz

3-5 kHz

170-177

92.7-110

26

REMARKS

Occurs single or in groups of 2


or 3; dives deep; avoids coastal
waters; high vertical blow
Occurs singly or in small
groups, primarily oceanic,
occasionally entering coast
waters; dives to at least 650 ft;
high vertical blow
Usually occurs singly or in
pairs; may congregate in groups
of 50 or more when feeding;
small vertical blow
Occurs near shore, usually
alone, less often in pairs, rarely
in groups; small blow
Occurs singly or in groups of 2
or 3; high V-shaped double
blow
Occurs singly or in small
groups; coastal, except when
migrating; spouts at each
surfacing; length of time at
surface dependent on
succeeding dive; low bushy
blow
Occurs alone or in loosely
scattered schools; changes
course often while feeding;
when frightened will usually
flee to windward; dives to 3,500
ft; low bushy blow, directed
forward

Figure 3-2. Potential Whale Sonar Targets (Western North Atlantic)


(Levenson, 1969).

27

3.3 Self-Noise
If the ocean environment were completely free of noise, the detection of an
acoustic signal would still be difficult because of (a) the noise inherent in the sound
equipment itself and in the platform on which it is mounted, and/or (b) the noise caused
by the motion of the platform. Even when the sound equipment is towed separately,
noise is generated by the water moving past the unit and the supporting cable. This
noise is known as self-noise and is present in submarines, surface vessels, and aircraft.
Self-noise may result from (a) circuit noise arising from relay contacts and other
components, (b) transducer noise caused by water turbulence around the housing, (c)
hull noise arising from structural parts that are loose, (d) machinery noise from base
structural parts, and/or (e) machinery noise from propulsion or auxiliary equipment. The
major classes of self-noise are machinery noise, propeller noise, and hydrodynamic
noise.
3.3.1 Machinery Noise. Machinery noise is produced by the main propulsion plant,
reduction gears, propeller shafts, auxiliary machinery, and various underwater
discharges from ships. Sounds include whines, squeaks, or grumbles of various
discrete frequencies and broadband noise components. The spectrum of noise created
by a typical piece of machinery contains a series of tonal components of high level,
superimposed on a continuous background. This noise is of the greatest importance at
low speeds because it is then concentrated in the low-frequency range and undergoes
less attenuation than does noise of high frequencies. Rigid adherence to the ships
quiet bill, which results in the use of the quietest equipment during acoustic operations,
reduces noise in this area significantly.
3.3.2 Propeller Noise. The primary source of propeller noise is cavitation. High-speed
movement of underwater propeller blades causes cavitation noise. In this case,
cavitation results from the separation between the propeller and the surrounding water
due to the rapid movement of the propeller blades. The propeller motion prevents
water from immediately closing in behind its blades. As a result of the low-pressure
region being formed, a stream of bubbles is continually being formed. These bubbles
collapse, and the noise produced by a great many of these collapsing bubbles is
cavitation noise. It has a continuous spectrum, which can dominate the high-frequency
end of the spectrum of ship noise. For a submarine, propeller noise is affected not only
by the speed but also by the depth of the submarine. Since the hydrostatic pressure of
the water around the propeller increases with depth, a deeply submerged submarine
may operate at greater speed without cavitation than might a submarine operating at a
shallow depth.
3.3.3 Hydrodynamic Noise. Hydrodynamic noise results from the flow of water past the
hydrophone, its supports, and the hull structure of the platform. In a submarine,
hydrodynamic noise includes turbulent pressures upon the hydrophones from flow
eddies, as well as rattles and vibration from the submarine's plating and sonar gear.
The water flow around the sonar dome sometimes creates the major portion of selfnoise. Flow noise is characterized by its dependence upon speed. This noise

28

increases as the fifth or sixth power of speed and is independent of the operating depth
of the submarine. This latter characteristic distinguishes flow noise from cavitation
noise. Flow noise has a continuous spectrum, peaking in the low-frequency range and
increasing in intensity as the speed increases. Low-frequency, long-range listening
from a submarine-mounted hydrophone may be seriously hampered at speeds greater
than 5 knots.
Hydrodynamic noise also affects the detection capabilities of sonobuoys. Two
conditions which affect sonobuoys in high seas are water flow past the deployed
hydrophone and cable strumming.
In a surface ship, hydrodynamic noise is caused by the movement of the ship
through the water and is predominant at speeds above 12 knots. This noise has three
main components: flow noise, flow excitation, and cavitation around the sonar dome.
Flow noise is caused by turbulent flow around the underwater hull, which causes
pressure fluctuations at the face of the transducer. When the ship's speed is fast
enough, a bow-mounted or hull-mounted sonar dome will cavitate and noise will be
generated. Moreover, if the ship's bottom is not clean, any appendage will cavitate
when the ship's speed is sufficiently high. Regular inspection and cleaning of the ship's
bottom are essential if the ship is to obtain optimum quietness at higher speeds.
3.3.4 Aircraft Noise. Noise developed by aircraft does not appreciably affect the
effectiveness of the ASW sensors. The aircraft does produce an artifact line on the
passive sonobuoy readout. Also, when an aircraft passes over a sonobuoy, a Doppler
shift can be observed on the gram in the same frequency range. The artifact line is
caused by the revolution of the propellers.
3.3.5 Circuit Noise. Circuit noise is generated primarily in sonar-scanning switches,
preamplifiers, connections, relay contacts, and power pack. With proper maintenance,
this source of noise should not seriously affect sonar performance.

29

Chapter 4
Marine Geology and Bathymetry

4.1 Introduction
Knowledge of marine geology is important for all phases of naval operations and
is particularly so in undersea warfare. Specifically, this knowledge is vital when
considering problems in
a. transmission of underwater sound,
b. concealment of submarines,
c. false sonar targets, and
d. submarine navigation.
Bathymetry bottom types and bottom loss of major oceanic provinces are
included in "Oceanographic Outlooks" prepared by Naval Meteorology and
Oceanography Command Centers. (These "Outlooks" are described in
NAVMETOCCOMINST C3140.1K.) Environmental briefings generally include a
discussion on bathymetry and bottom types for the operating areas. In addition,
METOC activities can prepare bottom-composition and bathymetry charts tailored to
local operational requirements.
4.2 Bottom Topography
The ocean bottom is considered to consist of four major physiographic or
morphological provinces:
a. the Continental Shelf
b. the Continental Slope and Rise
c. the Ocean Basin, and
d. Mid-Ocean Ridges (e.g., Submarine Ridges).
In addition, many other features (for example, ridges, trenches, seamounts, and
guyots) are found within these major provinces. Figure 4-1 presents nomenclature used
to identify undersea geological features.

30

26
1) Coastal Plain
2) Estuary
3) Continental Shelf
4) Submarine Canyon
5) Plateau
6) Continental Slope
7) Continental Borderland
8) Fault Scarp
9) Deep Sea Fans

10) Continental Rise


11) Sea Mount
12) Island Arc
13) Deep Trench
14) Deep Sea Channel
15) Fracture Zone
16) Abyssal Plain
17) Atoll
18) Abyssal Hills

19) Ridge
20) Rise
21) Rift Valley
22) Guyots
23) Volcanic Island
24) Metamorphic Rock
25) Sedimentary Rock
26) Basaltic Rock

Figure 4-1. Nomenclature of Undersea Geophysical Features (NAVOCEANO, 1966).

4.2.1 Continental Shelf. The Continental Shelf province contains gently sloping
seafloor areas extending seaward from the shoreline into water depths of 60 fathoms
(110 meters) to 100 fathoms (183 meters). The seaward termination of the Continental
Shelf is the Shelf Break, an abrupt increase in the angle of the seafloor marking a
change from the nearly flat shelf gradient of <1.7 meters/kilometers (slope angle =
<0.1), to the more steeply dipping (3-6) Continental Slope below. Although the
Continental Shelf is relatively flat and gently sloping, submarine hills, ridges, terraces,
depressions, and steep-walled submarine canyons may be found within the shelf
province.

31

4.2.2 Continental Slope. Beyond the seaward edge of the Continental Shelf is the
more steeply inclined Continental Slope. Within the Continental Slope, depth increases
rapidly from shallow water shelf areas less than 100 fathoms (183 meters) downslope
into Ocean Basins deeper than 1,500 fathoms (2,745 meters). Continental Slopes have
gradients between 1:5 (slope angle = 11.5) and 1:25 (2.3). Off mountainous coasts
(such as the Pacific coast of North America) the Continental Slope dips at a gradient of
about 1:20 (2.9), but off coasts with wide, well-drained plains (such as the Atlantic
coast of North America), the slope inclines at around 1:30 (1.9). Extreme slopes (such
as those off volcanic islands or mid-ocean ridges) may slant as much as 1:2 (30).
Extreme reverberation occurs with inclines greater than 1:10 (slope angles = > 5.7).
4.2.3 Continental Rise. At the base of Continental Slopes the slope angle gradually
decreases as a result of sediment accumulation in the Continental Rise at the foot of the
slope. The Continental Rise is typified by gradients of 1:40 (1.4) to 1:1,000 (0.06), and
the Continental Slope/Rise transition is usually pronounced on echo sounder records,
being found at depths of >500 fathoms (915 meters). Because of its low slope angle,
the Rise exhibits good bottom-bounce characteristics. The base of the Rise is marked
by another marked boundary in seaward gradient, as the Rise gives way to the nearly
flat Abyssal Plains in those Ocean Basins that are not limited by trenches. The bottom
of the Continental Rise is defined as the point where the seaward gradient drops below
1:40 (slope angles = 1.4).
4.2.4 Ocean Basin. Pacific Ocean Basins and Atlantic-type Ocean Basins differ in
sediment types and locations. Trenches prevent sediments of continental origin from
reaching the ocean basin floor. The Ocean Basin province includes 76 percent of the
seafloor, with depths ranging from 1,500 fathoms (2,745 meters) to 3,000 fathoms
(5,490 meters). Generally, Ocean Basins have average inclines of no more than 1:90
(0.6), and Abyssal Plains within the Ocean Basins have gradients of <1:1000 (slopes
<0.06). Although on the average the Ocean Basins have little vertical relief over
considerable distances, the relief superimposed on this average incline may be at least
as rugged as the larger topographic features found on land. Present in all ocean basins
are submarine volcanoes, seamounts, and submarine mountain ridges which may rise
hundreds to thousands of meters above the adjacent Abyssal Plains.
4.2.5 Submarine Ridges. Great submarine mountain ranges occur in all oceans,
extending for a total of some forty-two thousand miles. Submarine Ridges rise from
abyssal depths of 2,500 fathoms (4,575 meters) to depths less than 1,500 fathoms
(2,745 meters) at the crest of the ridge, which may extend for thousands of miles
through the ocean basin. In every ocean except the Pacific, these submarine ridges are
found near the center of the ocean basin, and divide the oceans into eastern and
western basins. In the Pacific Ocean, the submarine ridge is offset closer to North and
South America and is called the East Pacific Rise. One of the more prominent
submarine ridges is the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which extends from north of Iceland
southward across the Equator until it intersects the Indian Ridge south of Africa. In
several places this ridge rises above sea level to form islands such as St. Peter and St.
Paul Rocks, Ascension, and Tristan de Cunha.

32

There are spreading ridges and non-spreading ridges. The Hawaiian Arc is an
example of a non-spreading submarine ridge. Along the center of the Mid-Atlantic
Ridge and those ridges characterized by seafloor spreading at rates of less than 4-6
centimeters/year is a V-shaped, steep-walled Rift Valley. Spreading ridges in the
Pacific Ocean extend/expand at rates of over 10 centimeters/year and do not have axial
V-shaped rift valleys.
4.2.6 Seamounts. Seamounts, isolated submarine volcanoes which rise 500 fathoms
(915 meters) or more above the adjacent seafloor, are present in all ocean basins.
Some of these mountains have flat tops, and are called guyots or tablemounts. Atolls,
round to oval islands or coral and sand surrounding a central lagoon, are found atop
many guyots in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
4.2.7 Abyssal Hills and Oceanic Rises. Abyssal Hills are smaller submarine features
which rise to heights from 20-40 meters (10-20 fathoms) to a few hundred meters above
the seafloor. In most ocean basins, Abyssal Hills flank the Mid-Ocean Ridge and other
Submarine Ridges. Abyssal Hills may be found in other regions within ocean basins.
Oceanic Rises, areas hundreds of kilometers wide over which the surface rises
several hundred meters above the surrounding seafloor, are found in those ocean
basins where sediments have not covered them, such as in the Pacific Basin. Oceanic
rises appear to be similar to several hundred closely spaced abyssal hills in a local
area.
4.2.8 Trenches. Submarine Trenches comprise the deepest parts of the oceans.
These narrow (40-120 kilometers wide), steep-sided depressions extend in curving arcs
500-4,500 kilometers long near the margins of ocean basins, and the bottom of
trenches may include depths of 4,100-4,920 fathoms (7,500-9,000 meters). A "deep" is
the deepest part of any trench, but the term "deep" is reserved for water depths greater
than 3,000 fathoms (5,490 meters). The Atlantic Ocean contains only three small
trenches--two near Puerto Rico and the West Indies, and one east of Cape Horn near
the Falkland Islands of the South Atlantic. The Pacific Ocean is ringed by submarine
trenches, including the deepest trench (the Marianas Trench, near Guam) and the
longest trench (the Peru-Chile Trench, which extends for 5,900 kilometers along the
western margin of South America). In the Western Pacific, some of these trenches form
a nearly continuous north-south depression from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Examples
of the depths of some of these Pacific trenches are: Kuril Trench - 34,020 feet (10,542
meters); Japan Trench - 27,950 feet (9,810 meters); Mindanao Trench - 34,428 feet
(10,494 meters); Challenger Deep of the Marianas Trench - 35,800 feet (10,915
meters); and Tonga Trench - 35,430 feet (10,882 meters).
It should be noted that trenches appear when oceanic crust (density of 3.3 - 3.4)
slides under (subduction) another oceanic crust or a continental crust of a lower density
(density of 2.7). Subduction is caused by seafloor spreading, which generates the
dynamic force.

33

4.3 Bottom Composition


It must be understood that sediments on the seafloor are in different layers,
which represent separate types such as a sandy layer overlying a clay layer. The
different layers will have different geoacoustic characteristics (velocity of compressional
and shear waves, density, sound attenuation, etc.). The genesis of the different layers
is the study of sedimentology, a sizable topic beyond the scope of this reference.
The geologic composition of the ocean bottom has an extremely significant effect
upon the final strength of bottom-reflected sound. Depending on composition, such
interrelated effects as reflection, absorption, scattering, attenuation, and reverberation
come into play.
The different types of bottom sediments have various effects upon sound
propagation. Factors that increase sound reflectivity are (a) an increase in the calcium
carbonate content of the sediments, (b) a decrease in sediment porosity and resulting
compaction, (c) an increase in the mean diameter of sediment particles, (d) an increase
in the degree of cementation or lithification (increase in sediment rigidity), and (e) an
increase in the temperature of the sediments from one location to another.
Energy loss into the bottom depends primarily upon bottom composition,
frequency of the sound transmitted, and the angle of incidence of the sound ray at the
sea bottom.
Classified Marine Geophysical Survey (MGS) bottom-loss charts are produced
by NAVOCEANO, upon request. Each chart delineates various acoustic provinces from
good (#1) to very poor (#9). MGS survey data are input parameters in active- and
passive-sonar environmental service products. Bottom-type losses are for various
bottom types and are discussed in NAVMETOCCOMINST C3140.1K, U.S. Navy
Oceanographic and Meteorological Support Systems Manual (September 26, 1996).
A second data base designated as Low-Frequency Bottom Loss (LFBL) supports
low-frequency performance prediction capability for sonar application (50-1,000 Hz).
The LFBL data base is comprised of 803 LFBL provinces, each of which have 15
geoacoustic parameters. The fundamental characteristic of LFBL is that there is a
single velocity verses depth to describe acoustic propagation in the seafloor. These
parameters describe the reflective and refractive characteristics of the ocean bottom.
The LFBL implementation uses geoacoustic parameters of sediment sound speed,
attenuation, density, and sediment thickness to derive bottom loss for input into
performance prediction models. LFBL models work most accurately in abyssal plains.
The use of geoacoustic parameters as the data base and a model which calculates
bottom loss ensures that future updates and expansions can occur in a routine manner
with a minimal impact on Fleet operations.

34

A third data base designated as the Geophysical Data Base (GDB) also supports
low-frequency performance prediction capabilities of sonar applications in the frequency
range of 10-1,000 Hz. The basic refinement in data base preparation is that a GDB
attempts to define the different layers within the "earth beneath the sea" marked by
different velocities. Unconsolidated sediments (those sediments one could mold with
their hands) have compressional wave velocities from 1,425 meters/second. to perhaps
2,000 meters/second. Once sediments are consolidated, their characteristic velocities
range from 2,200 meters/second. to 2,600 meters/second. Other step velocity
increases with depth are found, which the GDB recognizes in an effort to be more
realistic.
GDBs are found along continental margins such as the Barents Sea, the
Mediterranean Sea, the Arabian Gulf, and the north Gulf of Oman. Other areas are
presently in preparation.
4.4 Bathymetry
An understanding of the importance of bathymetry and of the use of bathymetric
charts and information is necessary for efficient ASW operations.

Considerable detail concerning depth is available on some Dead Reckoning Tracer


(DRT) plotting charts. If more specific requirements for bathymetry exist, additional
data can be obtained from NAVOCEANO.

DMA Magnetic Anomaly Detection (MAD) Operational Effectiveness Charts also


depict bathymetry.

Recommendations for the application of bathymetry to ASW operations are offered


in the following paragraphs.

4.4.1 Corrected Bottom Depth. U.S. Naval echo sounders are calibrated for a mean
vertical sound speed in the water column (top to bottom) of 4,800 feet per second
(1,483 meters per second). The bathymetry data shown on charts are in agreement with
echo-sounder readings. Because both the echo-sounder calibration and naval
bathymetric charts assume a theoretical value for sound speed in water, both are
equally in error. An active or passive bottom-bounce signal will travel at the actual
speed of sound encountered at a specific depth rather than at the 4,800 feet-per-second
speed used in echo-sounder calculations. Similar considerations apply to convergence
zone calculations.
For example, a bottom-bounce range error of 732 meters (800 yards) is possible
when using an uncorrected depth of 4,572 meters (5,000 yards) and a target is at a
range of 18,200 meters (20,000 yards). This error assumes no refraction (refraction in
deep water results in longer apparent ranges) and a flat bottom.

35

Correction tables, such as Matthews' tables (Matthews, 1939), or more recently,


Carter's tables (Carter, 1980), and graphics (the nomogram depicted in figure 4-2) are
available to estimate true depth for various oceanic domains.

Figure 4-2. Corrections to Chart Depth or Echo-Sounder Depth to Obtain True Depth in
the Pacific.

36

4.4.2 Active Sensors. Active detection can be "bottom-limited." If the bottom depth is
less than 1,000 fathoms, bottom reverberations can dominate the background
continuously. In those areas in which the bottom is hard or irregular, the ranges
obtained are somewhat less than twice the water depth. An exception to this rule
occurs in shallow water. In shallow water, extreme ranges (10,000 yards) are possible;
however, with an irregular rock bottom present, reverberation usually produces signals
at ranges exceeding 5,000 yards (4,572 meters).
4.4.3 Convergence Zones. Convergence zone detection is unlikely in warm or
moderately warm water in depths of less than 1,200 fathoms (2,196 meters) except in
the Mediterranean Sea.
Seamounts, guyots, islands, and other bottom features will disrupt convergencezone activity and cause larger shadow zones.
4.4.4 Bottom Bounce. Where the bottom slope is greater than 1:10 (5.7),
reverberation due to roughness of the slopes is so intense and complex that bottom
bounce is essentially useless. If possible, slopes exceeding 1:20 (2.9) should be
avoided by a vessel operating active sonar in the bottom-bounce mode.
4.4.5 Bathymetric Interference. It is important to consider bathymetric interference of
the deep sound channel (DSC) since low-frequency acoustic energy can be transmitted
over long ranges via this sound propagation path (figure 4-3). Although the principle is
the same for each season, the effect is more pronounced in the summer when the DSC
deepens.

37

Figure 4-3. Bathymetric Interference.

38

Chapter 5
Water Masses, Currents, and Basic Oceanographic Analyses

5.1 General
Water masses, oceanic fronts, cold- and warm-core eddies, internal waves, and
currents are physical features of the oceans having a significant effect on ASW
operations. Oceanographic analysesfor example, sea-surface temperature (SST) and
mixed-layer depth (MLD)are major inputs in the construction of other environmental
products. A brief discussion of these basic oceanographic products, as well as various
environmental features of the oceans, is presented in this chapter.
5.2 Sea-Surface Temperature (SST) Charts
The daily SST chart is the most accurate of the various existing oceanographic
analyses because of its greater amount of input data.
The SST chart portrays the average temperature pattern for a 24-hour period.
Daily charts show little day-to-day variation in absolute value. It is not unusual for a
sea-surface temperature chart to remain essentially unchanged for as long as 5 days.
Longer term changes in the ocean thermal structure are gradual, being affected mainly
by the revolution of the earth around the sun and by significant meteorological changes
such as the passage of a storm or prolonged periods of abnormal weather.
The distribution of sea-surface temperature is controlled by three major factors:
currents, seasonal effects, and latitude. Temperatures in the vicinity of a major current
are influenced more by the current than by either seasonal or latitudinal factors.
Seasonal and latitudinal factors include the influences of convective mixing, mechanical
mixing, surface heating, precipitation, evaporation, and sea-ice distribution.
5.3 Water Masses
Water masses are formed in source regions and acquire specific temperature
and salinity (thermohaline) characteristics. As a water mass spreads or moves into a
new area, it retains many of its original characteristics but is also modified by surface
heating/cooling (combined with vertical mixing), evaporation, and mixing with other
water masses. Classical analysis of water masses enables oceanographers to identify
water masses in areas other than their source area; this is important in determining the
large-scale world ocean circulation. Thermohaline properties are fairly homogeneous
horizontally within classical water masses; however, there are often weak gradients
across most water masses.

39

Figures 5-1 and 5-2 are samples of computer-produced SST analyses.

Figure 5.1. Sea-Surface Temperatures from the FLENUMMETOCCEN OTIS 4.0


Analysis for the Gulf Stream Region.

Figure 5.2. Temperatures at 400 m Depth from the FLENUMMETOCCEN OTIS 4.0
Analysis for the Gulf Stream Region.

40

For Navy applications, water masses are sometimes defined differently than
classical water masses to relate the water characteristics to acoustics better. Classical
water mass definitions depend heavily on the relationship between temperature and
salinity (T-S). Acoustic applications usually emphasize temperature characteristics
alone for water mass definition, especially in deep water. Between two water masses
there is a transition zone known as a front. One depiction of classical water masses is
shown in figure 5-3.

NOTE: Transition Zones are Hatched Regions.


Figure 5-3. Major Ocean Regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

41

Water masses for Navy applications can be inferred from figures 5-4 and 5-5.
These two figures actually denote mean positions of ocean fronts; water masses exist
between the fronts. For example, in figure 5-4, Sargasso Water lies between fronts 03
(Gulf Stream South Wall) and 06 (Subtropical Convergence). Between fronts 02 (Gulf
Stream North Wall) and 11 (Shelf/Slope Front) lies Slope Water. In the case of major
western boundary currents such as the Gulf Stream, the water between the North and
South walls (fronts 02 and 03) is actually the warm core, a feature that exists to about
150-200 meters.
5.3.1 Ocean Fronts
An ocean front is the interface between two water masses having different
physical characteristics. Usually fronts show strong horizontal gradients of temperature
and/or salinity, with resulting density variation and current shear. Some fronts which
have weak horizontal gradients at the surface have strong gradients below the surface.
In some cases, gradients are weak at all levels, but variability across the front, as
reflected by the shape of the thermal profile, is sufficient to complicate or influence
sound transmission.
A useful definition for the purpose of naval operations can be stated as follows: A
tactically significant front is any discontinuity in the ocean which significantly alters the
pattern of sound transmission and propagation loss. Thus, a rapid change in the depth
of the sound channel, a difference in the sonic-layer depth, or a temperature inversion
would denote the presence of a front.
In figures 5-4 and 5-5, the fronts have a "beginning" and an "end." These are
regions where significant mixing has occurred between the water masses on either side
of each front. There is no precise definition of where a front begins or ends along its
"downstream/upstream" axis; horizontal gradients across a front gradually decrease as
increased mixing occurs across the front. In summer, the seasonal thermocline
decreases the temperature difference across fronts in the near-surface layer. In warmer
basins such as the Gulf of Mexico during summer, it is difficult to determine the position
of major fronts (Loop Current) from satellite IR imagery, which can detect only surface
gradients.
The important fronts in the northwest Atlantic include the North wall of the Gulf
Stream and the Shelf/Slope front along the U.S. coast north of Cape Hatteras. In the
northwest Pacific, major fronts are found along the north side of the Kuroshio and along
the south side of the Oyashio currents. Both temperature and salinity dynamics are
important to the formation and location of these stronger fronts; however, it is the
temperature differences/gradients that are important to acoustic applications for the
Navy. Typical horizontal temperature gradients across the Gulf Stream are 0.2o to
1.0oC (0.4o to 2.0oF) per nautical mile.

42

5.3.1.1 Typical Location of World Fronts


Figures 5-4 and 5-5 illustrate approximate positions for ocean fronts around the
world. Tables 5-1 and 5-2 provide names of ocean fronts shown in figures 5-4 and 5-5,
respectively. The keys in figures 5-4 and 5-5 show the relative strengths of the fronts.

Figure 5-4. Mean Positions of Ocean Fronts in the Atlantic Ocean.

43

Table 5-1. Names of Ocean Fronts in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08
09
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35

Atlantic Ocean
Loop Current (Gulf of Mexico)
Gulf Stream North Wall
Gulf Stream South Wall
North Atlantic Current
(North Polar Front) North Wall
North Atlantic Current
(North Polar Front) South Wall
Sargasso Sea Front
(Subtropical Convergence)
Azores Front
Guiana Current
Northwest African Upwelling
Gulf of Guiana Front
Shelf/Slope Front
Labrador Front
West Greenland Front
Denmark Strait Front
East Greenland Front
East Icelandic Front
Iceland-Faeroe Front
Jan Mayen Front
Greenland-Norwegian Sea Front
Norwegian Coastal Front
North Cape Current
Murman Coastal Current
-------- (Future Use)
Pechora Current
Persey Current
Bear Island Front
West Spitzbergen Front
East Spitzbergen Front
Benguela Upwelling
South Atlantic Subtropical
Convergence
Antarctic Convergence (South
Polar Front)
Antarctic Convergence
Canary Current
North Equatorial Current
Gulf Stream Extension

41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52

Mediterranean Sea
Huelva Front
Alboran Sea Front
Almeria-Oran Front
Tyrrhenian Divergence
Maltese Front
Ionian Front
Aegean Outflow
Levantine Basin Front
Balearic Front
North African Current
Strait of Sicily Front
Ligurian Sea Front

53
54
55
56
57

Indian Ocean
Arabian Upwelling
Somali Upwelling
Equatorial Countercurrent Front
-------Australian Subantarctic Front

44

Figure 5-5. Mean Positions of Ocean Fronts in the Pacific Ocean.

45

Table 5-2. Names of Ocean Fronts in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

64
65
66
67
67
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94

Pacific Ocean
East Pacific Equatorial Front
North Pacific Tropical Convergence
East China Coastal Current
Yellow Sea Warm Current
East Korean Warm Current
Limon Front
Maritime Province Cold Current
Tsugaru Front
Tsushima Front
North Wall Kuroshio Front
South Wall Kuroshio Front
North Pacific North Subtropical Front
North Pacific South Subtropical Front
Subarctic/Subtropical Transition
South Oyashio Front
North Oyashio Front
North Pacific North Subarctic Front
North Pacific South Subarctic Front
California Front
Alaskan Stream North Wall
Alaskan Stream South Wall
Soya Front
Kuril Front
Bering Sea Front
South Pacific Tropical Convergence
Mid-Tasman Convergence
South Pacific Subtropical Front
Sakhalin Front
West Kamchatka Front
East Kamchatka Front
East Subarctic/Subtropical Transition

55
56
57

Indian Ocean
Equatorial Countercurrent Front
West Australian Front
Australian Subantarctic Front

46

5.3.1.2 Acoustic Effects from Fronts


In terms of acoustics, the following changes can be of significant importance as
a front is crossed.
1. Near-surface sound speed can change by as much as 100 feet/second. This
is due to the combined effect of changing temperature and salinity, with temperature
usually being the dominant factor. Shallow-water seasonal salinity changes can
sometimes dominate.
2. Sonic-Layer Depth (SLD) can change by as much as 1,000 feet from one side
of a front to the other during certain seasons.
3. A change of the in-layer and below-layer gradient usually accompanies a
change in surface sound speed and SLD.
4. Depth of the Deep Sound Channel Axis (DSCA) can change by as much as
2,500 feet when crossing from one water mass to another.
5. Increased biological activity generally found along a front will increase
reverberation and ambient noise.
6. Sea-air interaction along a frontal zone can cause a dramatic change in sea
state and thus increase ambient noise levels.
7. Changes in the vertical arrival angle of sound rays as they pass through a
front can cause towed-array bearing errors.
It is clear that any one of these effects can have a significant impact on USW
operations. Together they determine the mode and range of sound propagation and
thus control the effectiveness of both short-range and long-range acoustic systems.
The combined effect of these characteristics is so complex that it is not always possible
to develop simple rules for utilizing ocean fronts for USW tactics. For example, the
warm core of the Gulf Stream south of Newfoundland will bend sound rays downward
into the deep sound channel, thereby enhancing the receiving capability of a deep
receiver. The same situation with a slightly shallower bottom south of Maine may
create a bottom-limited situation, and the receiving capability of the same sensor will be
impeded. In view of the above, the acoustic effects of a front must be determined for
each particular situation by using multiprofile (range-dependent environment) acoustic
models. The input of these models can come from detailed oceanographic
measurements or from historical data in combination with surface frontal positions
obtained from satellites.

47

5.3.1.3 Determining Frontal Locations from Satellite Data


Most fronts exhibit surface-temperature signatures that can be detected by
satellite infrared (IR) sensors and used in determining frontal locations. Figure 5-6 is an
example of a satellite IR image obtained by the TIROS-N satellite (#N-14) showing the
influx of warm water from the Kuroshio Current flowing into the Sea of Japan between
South Korea and Japan (Tsushima Strait/Korean Strait region). This is the beginning of
the Tsushima Warm Current. In the upper right-hand corner of the image the cold
waters of the Liman Current (North Korean Cold Current) are outlined. Between the two
contrasting water masses, at approximately 39N, lies the transitional water mass.
Because surface-temperature gradients are not always reliable indicators of the
subsurface front, satellite images must be interpreted by a skilled analyst, preferably in
combination with data from other sources (such as XBTs).
Automatic interpretation of satellite data is being developed using techniques
generally known as Automatic Imagery-Pattern Recognition or Artificial Intelligence.
Satellite IR sensors can read only the upper few millimeters of the water mass, which
allows cloud cover to prohibit surface-temperature observations.

Figure 5-6. TIROS-N Satellite Infrared (IR) Image.

48

5.3.1.4 Frontal Gradients


The strength of a front may be indicated by the measured temperature gradient,
or horizontal temperature difference over a particular distance. This gradient is
reported by the NAVOCEANO Warfighting Support Center in degrees F per 10 nautical
miles. All frontal temperature gradients in RAINFORM GOLD messages produced by
NAVOCEANO use this standard.
Table 5-3 divides the classification of the fronts into four categories. Weak
fronts are represented by dashed lines and may not be strong enough to be significant
in USW operations. Moderate fronts are shown as solid lines and may sometimes
influence USW operations. Strong fronts are expressed as heavy lines and usually
have significant effects on USW operations. Very strong fronts (usually only Gulf
Stream Current, Kuroshio Current, and Oyashio Current regions) are shown as heavy
lines and will have significant effects on USW operations in their regions.
Table 5-3. Classification of Ocean Fronts.
Relative
Strength
Very Strong
Strong
Moderate
Weak

Maximum Change
in Sound Speed
(ft/sec)
>100
70-100
50-70
<50

Change in SLD
(ft)
>500
250-500
100-250
100

SST Gradient
(Deg F/
10 nmi)
>8
5-8
3-4
2

Depth (ft)
>3,000
1,200-3,000
300-1,200
300

Persistence
Year-round
Year-round
Year-round
Seasonal

5.3.2 Eddies
An "eddy" in oceanography is a large rotating mass of warm or cold water. They
can be considered circular fronts with water trapped inside having different physical
properties from the surrounding waters. Eddies can range from 60 to 200 nautical
miles in diameter and can extend to depths of 800 meters (3,000 feet) or more. Larger
eddies are found on both sides of major ocean fronts, particularly those involving major
currents such as the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic and the Kuroshio in the Pacific. These
eddies are caused by the breaking off of a large meander from the current (figure 5-7),
similar to the way an oxbow lake is generated by the cutoff of a river meander. Note
that the water inside the cold eddy was "captured" from the relatively cold Slope water
mass during a Gulf Stream meander and is surrounded by warmer Sargasso water.
Warm eddies (figure 5-8), which occur north (to the left) of the Gulf Stream, contain
"captured" Sargasso water and are surrounded by Slope water.
Eddies rotate relative to the surrounding watermass. Some eddies are
stationary, but most drift in a direction opposite to the direction of their source current.
Eddies can separate from the source current and drift until they are absorbed into the
surrounding watermass, or they may recombine with the source current. Surface ducts
outside an eddy will pinch out at the boundaries.

49

Figure 5-7. Formation of Warm and Cold Eddies from the Gulf Stream.

50

5.3.2.1 Warm Eddies


Warm eddies form on the cold side of the watermass interface and contain water
from the warm side. They seldom last longer than six to eight months, due to heat
transfer to the atmosphere and to the surrounding watermass. Figure 5-8 illustrates a
typical sound-speed structure of a warm eddy.
Within a warm eddy, the SLD and DSC are usually deeper than that of the
surrounding water. During winter, a deep SLD can occur in the eddy center, providing
good surface duct propagation. During summer, a negative gradient can dominate the
eddy and produce strong downward refraction.
When entering a warm eddy and moving toward the center, expect improving
surface duct quality, improving active ranges, increasing ranges to the first CZ,
decreasing depth excess, decreasing ability to access the DSC, and an improving BB
propagation quality. Warm eddies are considered a submarine haven throughout the
entire eddy.
5.3.2.2

Cold Eddies

Cold eddies form on the warm side of the watermass interface and contain a
core of cold water from the cold side. They may last up to two years before being
absorbed into the surrounding watermass. Cold eddies sink at a non-uniform rate,
which removes them from a surface environment and atmospheric effects. While no
longer detectable from satellite imaging, cold eddies are present in the watermass and
can influence acoustic propagation. Figure 5-9 provides an example of a cold eddy
sound- speed structure.
The characteristics of a cold eddy include shallower SLD than the surrounding
watermass, a weaker below-layer gradient, poor surface ducting, good cross-layer
coupling, better CZ conditions, and better DSC coupling.
Within a cold eddy, the CZ range will be shorter than that for the surrounding
watermass and improve acoustic conditions for both detection and counterdetection.
Cold eddies are considered a submarine haven only at the boundaries.

51

Figure 5-8. Vertical Cross-Section of a Warm Eddy.

52

Figure 5-9. Vertical Cross-Section of a Cold Eddy.

53

5.3.3 Fronts and Eddies in Shallow Water


When fronts occur in water depths less than several hundred meters,
bathymetric effects play a large role in the frontal characteristics. In these regions,
fronts tend to be "locked" into the bottom; the envelope of observed surface paths is
much wider than the envelope of the bottom paths. For example, the bottom of the
Iceland-Faeroes front intersects the top of the ridge between Iceland and the Faeroe
Islands (water depths of 400-600 meters) and slopes upward toward the northeast. The
Shelf/Slope front off the U.S. east coast intersects the bottom along the shelf break (70120 meters). Meanders of the topographically locked fronts are much smaller then the
meanders of the "classical" fronts such as the Gulf Stream. The eddies formed by
these shallow-water fronts are also much smaller and often stay embedded in the front
instead of breaking off.
Even major fronts can be affected by the bathymetry. The path of the Gulf
Stream south of Cape Hatteras conforms generally to the shelf break; large "fold-back"
meanders do not occur, but small eddies are formed during gentle offshore meanders
and stay embedded in the shoreward side of the front. These frontal eddies are
dynamically different than the cutoff eddies north of Cape Hatteras, in that they are cold
core and on the shoreward side of the front.
Typical locations where topographically locked fronts occur are along continental
shelf breaks/slopes and ridges that act as a deep barrier between two water masses. In
some cases, shelf break fronts separate relatively cooler, fresher shelf water from
warmer, saltier offshore water. This causes a temperature inversion; the colder shelf
water lies over the warmer offshore water with density compensated by salinity. In
these situations, strong acoustic upbending occurs, such as across the Shelf/Slope
front off the U.S. east coast. Because density gradients across these fronts are often
small, interleaving occurs where "fingers" of alternating layers of warm and cold water in
the vertical are formed. These frontal structures are very complex and difficult to model
or predict.
Fronts that are locked into the bottom are often stronger at depth than at the
surface, especially in summer, when seasonal thermoclines tend to wash across
different water masses. Figure 5-10 shows sound-speed profiles (constructed from
observed temperature/salinity profiles) on both sides of the Polar front in the Barents
Sea during August. This front generally follows the 250-meter isobath and separates
the colder Polar water to the northeast from the warmer Norwegian or Atlantic water to
the southwest. Note that at the surface the historical profiles from both water masses
overlap; at depth there is significant difference in sound speed between the two water
types. More importantly, the Polar water will produce upbending at depth, whereas the
Atlantic water will generally produce downbending.

54

Figure 5-10. Observed Sound-Speed Profiles Across the Polar Front


(Curved path on location chart is mean position of the front).

55

5.3.4 Internal Waves


The thermocline is an interface between colder, denser water below, and
warmer, less dense water above. Because it is a density interface, gravity waves can
propagate along it, just as surface waves propagate along the density interface
between the air and water. We call these waves which move along the thermocline
internal waves because they propagate inside the ocean. Internal waves can be found
moving along other vertical density gradients such as the strong salinity gradients found
in both the Baltic and Black Seas. Although these "salinity gradient" waves are
important to other maritime professions such as shipping and fisheries, the internal
waves that concern naval operators are those which have different temperatures and,
therefore, different sound speeds above and below the waves.
The main effect of internal waves on acoustics is the oscillation of the depth of
the thermocline, either the main (permanent) thermocline or the seasonal thermocline.
This causes fluctuations in the sonic-layer depth and produces changes in the trapping
frequency and propagation loss in the surface duct. Internal waves travel more slowly
than surface gravity waves and generally have much greater periods, lengths, and
heights (amplitudes). Internal waves in deep water may have periods of tens of
minutes to hours, wavelengths of kilometers, and amplitudes of tens of meters. In
shallow water these values are, respectively, minutes, kilometers, and meters. Internal
waves in shallow water may also cause significant current oscillations superimposed on
the existing background currents. Most ocean basins have internal waves that oscillate
at tidal frequencies and are called "internal tides."
5.4 Currents
Major currents in large ocean basins are mainly forced by large-scale winds and
horizontal density differences (thermohaline circulation) and are modified by the Coriolis
force and bathymetry. A simplified depiction of currents can be inferred from
temperature contours from an SST chart. The thermal gradient (distance between the
isotherms) is indicative of current strength. The maximum gradient coincides with the
greatest horizontal temperature gradient (closely packed isotherms). In reality, an
instantaneous picture of the ocean surface circulation is a complex combination of
large- and small-scale eddy and frontal features. General ocean circulation is illustrated
in figures 5-11, 5-12, and 5-13; these atlas-type depictions do not represent the true
horizontal resolution or time-varying nature of the surface currents.

56

57

58

Forcing mechanisms for currents in shallow water or restricted channels include


wind, density differences, tides, freshwater runoff, and atmospheric pressure
differences; bathymetry and Coriolis force modify the flows. Currents in these regions
can be driven both locally and non-locally. For example, currents on a continental shelf
driven by local winds may be somewhat predictable by measuring or modeling the local
wind field; however, large-scale, wind-driven circulation from the deep ocean may
impinge upon the shelf and mask the locally driven currents. Another complexity of
shallow-water currents is that the driving mechanisms are more variable than their
deep-water counterparts; thus, climatological values of winds and freshwater runoff are
less useful for prediction purposes.
Currents are important for a variety of reasons for ASW and submarine
applications, including planning sonobuoy fields (drift), mine drift, submarine drift, and
subsurface rescue operations. Currents are extremely important for numerous Mine
Warfare and Special Warfare applications.

59

5.5 Variability of the Ocean Environment


5.5.1 General
Variability within ocean areas can be classified as:
a. Geographic Variability - ocean fronts and eddies, bathymetry, or bottom
topography.
b. Temporal Variability - changes in the temperature caused by cloud cover,
storm passages, and meandering of ocean currents.
c. Cyclic Variability - seasonal influences.
d. Geophysical Variability - anomalous temperature distribution caused by
intermittent influx of water from another area (e.g., El Nino).
5.5.2 Scale of Variability
Different types of ocean features have different size scales, as shown in table
5-4.
Table 5-4. Scale of Variability.
Feature
Large-scale oceanic
circulation systems
Major ocean currents

Example
Current as seen in climatological ocean
plot charts
Gulf Stream, Kuroshio

Medium-scale or
mesoscale features
Small-scale features

Warm and Cold Eddies

Fine-scale features
Microscale features

River runoff, wind-influenced


convergences and divergences
Sonic-layer depth, in-layer and belowlayer gradients, sound channels
Turbulence, diffusion of heat and salt

Size
10,000 5,000 km
(5,000 2,500 nmi)
5,000 1,000 km
(2,500 500 nmi)
1,000 100 km
(500 50 nmi)
100 1 km
(50 0.5 nmi)
1 km 1 m
(0.5 nmi 1 yd)
1 m 1 mm
(3 ft .04 in)

Medium-scale and fine-scale variability are prevalent in approximately 60 percent


of the world's oceans and includes bottom topography, transition zones, and daily
heating and cooling. Variations of vertical fine-scale features, such as sea-surface
temperature, sonic-layer depth, gradient below the layer, sound-speed profile, and sea
state, are all considered in detection range calculations. However, the
bathythermograph observations that are the basis for most of these parameters do not

60

measure medium-scale horizontal changes and therefore cannot be extended


indiscriminately in all directions about the point at which they are taken. They are taken
at point "A" along a transit route. Sonar-performance prediction based on this
information must take this into account.
5.5.3 Detection-Range Calculations
Range-independent detection-range calculations, through use of an on-scene
bathythermograph (BT) or by a computer using either the on-scene BT or a
representative BT, do not consider medium-scale features. These features are best
accounted for through knowledgeable analysis by the oceanographer/acoustician, by
three-dimensional ocean numerical models, and by use of range-dependent
propagation loss models.
Experience shows that a detection-range calculation in a highly variable area
(such as a shallow-water/littoral environment) has a reduced temporal and spatial
validity. Rapid fluctuations in detection range are common. Range calculations do not
consider medium-scale features that are inherent in the ocean environment. Variability
in the environment is both vertical and horizontal, and it causes a corresponding
variability in detection ranges and inaccuracies in detection-range calculations.

61

Chapter 6
Bathythermograph Observations

6.1 General
Bathythermograph (BT) observations provide operational forces with accurate
thermal information for specific operating areas at specific times. The observations give
a recording of temperature versus depth. The recording presents the vertical thermal
structure of the water column at the specific location where the observation was taken.
The thermal structure can be used to determine the mixed-layer depth (MLD) and
temperature gradients below and in the mixed-layer (surface layer) and provide
temperature/depth data for environmental prediction systems in construction of soundspeed profiles.
BT observations further provide a vital input to the production of oceanographic
and acoustic support products described in NAVMETOCCOMINST 3140.1K, U.S. Navy
Oceanographic and Meteorological Support Systems Manual (Rev 9/96).
A BT observation may be representative of conditions for a large area in some
homogeneous regions, whereas an observation taken near the northern edge of the
Gulf Stream, the Kuroshio Current, or in the vicinity of the Azores may be valid only for
a small area. Frequent bathythermograph observations should be made during USW
operations to obtain an adequate sample size in order to define the subsurface thermal
structure. Monitoring of several environmental parameters will aid in determining when
the environment has changed enough to warrant dropping a new BT.
The first step in measuring the subsurface vertical water-mass environment is
launching an accurate BT. Any change of equal or greater value in the listed
parameters should be followed by a new environmental/acoustic range prediction.
Sea State
Wind Speed
Sea Surface Temperature
Sonic Layer Depth (SLD)
Gradient Below Layer
Ambient Noise
Water Depth
Bottom Province
Biologics
Own Ship's Speed

Any Change
5 knots
2o F
50 feet
0.5 o F/100 feet
2 dB
100 fathoms
Any Change
Low to High/High to Low
3 knots

62

6.2 Expendable Bathythermographs


Expendable bathythermographs (XBT) are available to the operational forces.
These particular BTs utilize a probe containing a thermistor connected to a fine spool of
wire. The wire is unreeled from the spool as the probe sinks vertically through the water
at a known rate of descent. As the probe descends, a chart-type recorder converts time
and thermistor resistance into depth (meters or feet) and temperature (Fahrenheit or
Celsius). The maximum depth of the temperature recording used in the Fleet is being
standardized to 2,500 feet for all the launching platforms (aircraft, ship, submarine, or
helicopter).
6.3 Bathythermogram Encoding Procedures
Bathythermograph recorders provide continuous traces of temperature versus
depth. These traces are essentially a connected series of short line segments. Points
to be digitized are those points where the profile slope or gradient makes a significant
change. These points are called inflection points. The inflection points which must
always be recorded are the sea-surface temperature (SST), mixed layer depth (MLD),
and the deepest useable point of the trace.
0

60 , 16.8

100 , 15.7

100

D
e
p
t
h

00 , 17.8

27 , 17.0

50

131 , 14.3

150
200

117 , 15.8
180 , 15.0

230 , 14.4

250

Ship:

261 , 09.0
250 , 12.5

(m) 300
350
400

357 , 08.0
450 , 07.5

USS STETHEM
(DDG 63)
Cruise:
16 - 4
Latitude:
4314N
Longitude:
17124W
Time:
1600 GMT
Day/Mo/Yr:
21/08/98
Observation #: 25
Btm. Depth (m): 1910

450
0

10

15

20

25

Temperature, C
Figure 6-1. Sample XBT Recorder Trace.

63

30

6.3.1 Bathythermograph Log. Figure 6-1 is an illustration of a typical bathythermogram


trace. Instructions for preparing the bathythermograph log are provided with each
package of Form CNMOC 3167/2 (Rev. 5/96). Each package contains detailed
instructions on:
a. how to mark the XBT recorder chart,
b. encoding XBT data on the bathythermograph log sheet,
c. preparing a bathythermograph message for transmission using the
bathythermograph log (figure 6-2), and
d. how to obtain additional log sheets.
Instructions are also contained in NAVMETOCCOMINST 3140.1K (Rev. 9/96), U.S.
Navy Oceanographic and Meteorological Support System Manual.
6.3.2 Quality Control of XBT Data. A proper quality control of XBT data is very
important in making reliable acoustic predictions. Observers need to be familiar with
proper procedures for the handling and storage of XBT probes and the common
mechanical and electrical causes of XBT malfunctions. Probes should be stored in their
original containers in a vertical position with the protective cap down and should be kept
away from extremes of temperature and humidity. Failure to follow these procedures
may result in damage to the very thin copper wire and its insulation. Naval
Oceanographic Office Reference Publication 21, Guide to Common Shipboard
Expendable Bathythermograph (SXBT) Recording Malfunctions, contains a thorough
discussion of the various causes of erroneous data such as wire stretch, wire leak, wire
breakage, improper recorder calibration, improper launcher grounding, and
electromagnetic interference. When operating in areas of high oceanic variability, XBT
users should be familiar with the oceanographic conditions to be expected in the area.
For example, subsurface temperature inversions are quite common in the slope front
north of the Gulf Stream. Such inversions may be associated with tactically significant
sound channels yet may be easily mistaken for an XBT malfunction. Significant
changes in the XBT trace should be carefully evaluated and encoded.

64

Figure 6-2. Sample Bathythermograph Log.


Proper care must also be taken when digitizing an XBT trace. Each time a probe
is launched, the date, time (GMT), latitude and longitude should be noted and recorded,
even if the trace looks like a bad BT. It is also useful to note and record the depth to the
bottom. When recording depth-temperature pairs, record only those points where the
slope of the trace changes. Do not record depth-temperature pairs at even depths
such as 100, 200, 300, or 400 meters unless an inflection point or slope change
occurs at such a depth. (This procedure is referred to as Standard Depths and is
inaccurate.) Particular care must be taken in digitizing and recording SST and mixedlayer depth.
6.4 Bathythermograph Interpretation
Interpretation of the BT trace by personnel onboard the platform taking the BT
observations can provide real-time environmental information which could be significant
to their operations. Procedures to derive this information from a BT trace are presented
in subsequent paragraphs. Several applicable reference documents are available for

65

training in digitization and evaluation of BT traces. Evaluating and Encoding


Bathythermograph (BT) Data, METOC 60-1T-9701 (Rev 5/97), Naval Oceanographic
Office; Guide to Common Shipboard Expendable Bathythermograph (SXBT) Recording
Malfunctions, RP 21, Naval Oceanographic Office, February 1981; and Some
Guidelines for the Submarine-Launched Expendable Bathythermograph (SSXBT)
System, RP 39, Naval Oceanographic Office, October 1981 are examples of the
available documentation.
6.4.1 Mixed-Layer Depth (MLD). The MLD is defined as the point of maximum near
surface temperature. The MLD is normally located in the seasonal thermocline.
A negative temperature gradient (temperature decreasing with depth), within
certain limits, will compensate for the increase in sound speed with depth due to
pressure; this results in a constant sound speed with depth. These limits per 100-feet
(30-meter) increments of depth are as follows:

Table 6-1. Negative Temperature Gradients Required to Compensate for Depth.


o

a.
b.
c.

F
0.2o
0.3o
0.4o

C
0.1o
0.17o
0.22o

at
at
at

F
40o
55o
65o

C
4.4o
12.8o
18.3o

A more sharply negative temperature gradient will result in decreasing sound speed
with depth, while any gradient more positive than the preceding limits will result in an
increasing sound speed with depth. Sound speed increases with depth when the water
temperature is constant with depth (isothermal).
Reliable, on-scene measurements of mixed-layer depth are difficult to obtain.
Large variations may be encountered in the amount of transient heating and internal
waves present near current boundaries and related oceanic fronts. Caution is therefore
urged in selecting a representative value of MLD. Frequent BT measurements will have
to be taken to obtain this value.
6.4.1.1 MLD Computation. The MLD may be determined from a BT trace. The SLD is
correctly determined from the SSP derived from a BT trace entered into the
environmental prediction system.

66

a. If the maximum temperature is at the surface, the MLD is zero (figure 6-3).

Figure 6-3. Mixed Layer at Surface (Depth = 0).

b. If the trace is isothermal or has a slight negative gradient (less than the
previously stated limits), the depth of the mixed layer is that point at which the gradient
becomes more negative than the limits stated (figure 6-4).

Figure 6-4. Mixed Layer at Depth - Example A.

67

c. Except when the temperature gradient beneath the maximum temperature


depth is less than the stated limits, the mixed layer is at the deepest point at which the
maximum temperature occurs (figure 6-5).

Figure 6-5. Mixed Layer at Depth - Example B.


6.4.2 Temperature Gradient. To compute the gradient below the layer, in the layer, or
for a uniform segment of a BT trace:
a. the temperature and depth of the beginning point are labeled T1 and D1,
respectively;
b. the temperature and depth of the segment termination point are labeled T2
and D2, respectively; and
c. using these values and the following formula, the gradient for the segment is
computed in degrees Fahrenheit per 100-foot increments (or Celsius per 30 meters).
The formula is
100(T 1 - T2)
(D1 - D2)
30(T1 - T2)_
(D1 - D2)

= gradient in oF/100 feet

= gradient in oC/30 meters

The sign of the result indicates whether the gradient is positive or negative. For
example, to compute the temperature for a segment, that is, 340 feet (Temp 58.0 oF) to
540 feet (Temp 46.0oF), use the formula stated above. Substitute in the equation with
the following values:

68

D1 = 340; D2 = 540; T1 = 58.0; and T2 = 46.0


100(58.0 - 46.0) = 100(12.0) = 1200 = -6 = -6oF/100 feet
(340 - 540)
-200
-200
1
Thus, the gradient for the segment is a negative gradient of 6 degrees per 100 feet.
6.4.3 Sound Channels. The existence, depth, thickness, and relative strength of deep
and secondary sound channels should not be inferred from BT traces. A BT trace does
not reflect sound speed values needed to predict acoustic range propagation
accurately. Always evaluate the existence of and measure any and all sound
channel strength, thickness, and structure points from the SSP developed on an
environmental prediction system. Do not use the BQH-7 SVP readout for accurate
measurements of sound speed, as its salinity function is not variable with either location
or season. The refractive processes that create a sound channel are discussed in
section 7.2.4.
6.4.4 Convergence-Zone (CZ) Prediction. Accurate CZ predictions are based on a
knowledge of the environment, usually obtained by dropping a BT and entering the
temperature/depth pairs into onboard computerized environmental prediction systems.
The applicable models and data bases use a combination of in-situ and historical data
to predict the acoustic structure of the environment.

69

Chapter 7
Environmental Effects Upon Sound Propagation in the Deep Ocean

7.1 Depth and Seasonal Effects


Temperature is the dominant variable affecting the speed of sound in deepocean areas. At depth, however, temperature changes are slight, and changes in
pressure due to depth are the primary influence. Over much of the deep-ocean area
the temperature structure can be divided into three parts:
a. relatively warm surface layer, often showing isothermal structure,
b. main thermocline in which the temperature decreases at a moderately rapid
rate with depth, and
c. the colder deep-water layers in which the temperature decreases slowly with
depth.
The surface layer is affected by meteorological changes and sea-roughness
changes. Through wind action, the surface layer often shows complete mixing; the
sound-speed structure is then an isothermal channel paralleling the ocean surface. The
surface layer changes in a daily, seasonal, and areal manner. The deep-water layers,
to a lesser degree, also show variation only with respect to areal changes (Officer,
1958). Representative temperature and SSPs for the deep ocean are shown in figure
7-1.
These profiles consist of three basic parts:
a. a varying, seasonally dependent portion (surface layer),
b. an underlying more stable portion (main thermocline layer) extending to middepths, and
c. the deep-water layer.

70

Figure 7-1. Basic Temperature and Sound-Speed Structure of the Deep Ocean.
The seasonally dependent, near-surface region may, at any point in time, consist
of an isothermal (constant temperature) layer in the upper part that varies in thickness
with the season. A negative gradient is below. Pressure produces a slightly positive
sound-speed gradient in the isothermal layer. In summer, the isothermal layer is,
typically, about 15 meters (50 feet) deep in tropical waters. The abrupt negative
temperature gradient below this depth is called the seasonal thermocline. In the winter,
the greater wind action and cooling produce deeper mixing and increase the depth of
the isothermal layer to several hundred feet. In addition, the temperature and sound
speed at the surface decrease with the colder air temperature encountered. Figure 7-2
gives examples of hourly, weekly, seasonal, and geographic sound-speed profile
variations resulting from temperature changes. Hourly variations can occur near the
surface of the sound-speed profile due to diurnal heating. Deeper variations, but still in
the upper portion of the profile, can occur on a weekly basis, due to weather frontal
passages, extended periods of precipitation, overcast skies, or high winds. Seasonal
variations occur throughout the main thermocline. Geographic variations extend to the
deep-water layer.

71

Figure 7-2. Sound-Speed Profile Variations.


The deeper, semipermanent profile consists of a negative temperature gradient
from the base of the season thermocline to a depth of about 900 meters (3,000 feet).
Below this main thermocline, the temperature decreases only slightly with an increase in
depth. Temperature decrease is so slight that a steady sound-speed increase is
produced due to the increase in pressure. The resultant sound-speed structure below
the permanent thermocline consists of a positive gradient of about 0.017 sec-1.
7.1.1 SSPs. A number of distinct advantages are gained by using an SSP instead of a
BT. Significant features available in an SSP include the surface sound speed, soniclayer depth, and deep sound-channel axis depth. An SSP further provides the user with
a more accurate means of evaluating the following for passive detections.
a. The presence, quality, and usefulness of surface duct signals.
b. The presence, quality, and usability of sound channels in the operating area.
c. The probability, horizontal range, and annulus of convergence zones in the
operating area.
SSP overlays can be constructed to read an SSP directly from an XBT trace
(Huff, n.d.). An SSP can also be constructed by computing the sound speed at
significant and mandatory points in the bathythermogram.
7.1.1.1 SSP Construction. The sound speed as a function of depth, temperature, and
salinity can be determined from the nomograms in figures 7-3 and 7-4. An SSP can
then be constructed. Figure 7-3 gives accurate values of sound speed for any
combination of depth and temperature encountered in the ocean for the average opensea salinity of 35
(
= ppt = parts per thousand).

OO

72

Figure 7-3. Sound-Speed Nomogram (35

O Salinity) (NOLTR, 1963).

Figure 7-4. Salinity Correction to Sound Speed (Urick, 1979).


7.1.2 Horizontal Sound-Speed Gradients. While the major changes in sound speed
occur with depth, horizontal changes also occur. Variations in the horizontal plane
contribute to sonar bearing errors, particularly with passive detection systems where
longer detection ranges are expected. Horizontal gradients are especially significant in
the Strait of Gibraltar and in the northern edges of both the Gulf Stream and Kuroshio
Current. These gradients can be expected in areas of strong currents and ocean fronts,
internal ocean waves (paragraph 5.3.4), and uneven heating and cooling of the ocean
surfaces. Figure 7-5 illustrates a typical refraction situation where the maximum bearing

73

error () is 5 degrees. The sound rays bend toward colder water, resulting in a rangebearing error of 10 percent (for example, a 2-mile error when the range is 20 nautical
miles).

Figure 7-5. Horizontal Gradient - Sonar-Bearing Area (Hanssen, 1967).


7.2 Sound Propagation Paths
Sound propagation paths may be divided into several types:
a. Direct Path
b. Surface Duct
c. Half Channel
d. Sound Channel
e. Bottom Bounce
f. Convergence Zone
7.2.1 Direct Path. Direct path is the first portion of all the propagation paths. It is
defined as a short range propagation where there is approximately a straight-line path
between the source and receiver, with no reflection from the surface or bottom and only
one change of direction due to refraction. In this case, propagation loss equals
spherical spreading loss plus attenuation loss. An example of direct-path propagation is
shown in figure 7-6.

74

Figure 7-6. Direct Path Propagation Path.


7.2.2 Surface Duct. It was previously stated that one of the usual characteristics of the
thermal structure of the ocean is the existence of a mixed surface layer. Surface layers
(ducts) exhibit a slightly positive sound-speed gradient, and sound rays emitted from a
source within the layer, or trapped in the layer, will be refracted upward and surfacereflected, as shown in figure 7-7. The limiting ray is characterized by the fact that its
vertex sound speed is equal to the maximum sound speed in the near-surface profile.
The depth at which this sound speed occurs is defined as the SLD, which in most cases
is equal to the MLD. MLD may be read from a BT trace, whereas the SLD must be read
from an SSP trace to assure accuracy. As a general rule, surface-duct propagation will
improve as the layer depth increases.

Figure 7-7. Surface Duct Propagation Path with Limiting Rays and Shadow Zone.
7.2.2.1 Shadow Zone. A shadow zone is depicted in figure 7-7 beneath the layer at
ranges beyond the direct or close-in sound field. The limiting ray becomes horizontal at
the base of the layer; rays leaving the source at greater angles than the limiting ray are
sent downward. Ray theory indicates that no energy should penetrate the shadow
zone, but this is not the case. Some sound energy does enter the shadow zone. It is
generally attributed to scattered sound from the sea surface and to leakage of sound
out of the channel due to the frequency-dependent trapping qualities of the duct

75

(paragraph 7.2.2.4). At low frequencies, diffraction is important. The diffraction


(leakage), in turn, depends upon the sharpness of the discontinuity between the mixed
layer and the thermocline, as well as upon the sound-speed gradients in the layer and
below the layer in the thermocline, called the "below-layer gradient" (Urick, 1967).
The intensity of sound within a shadow zone decreases exponentially with
distance from the limiting ray. The exponent is a function of both source frequency and
the magnitude of the negative gradient, increasing slowly with both. Thus, as frequency
and the magnitude of the below-layer gradient increase, the intensity of sound within the
shadow zone decreases.
7.2.2.2 SLD. The SLD is defined as the depth of the maximum near-surface sound
speed above the deep sound channel axis. The sound field in a layer depends greatly
upon the layer depth, as illustrated in figure 7-8. The deeper the layer, the farther the
sound can travel without having to reflect off the surface, and the greater the amount of
energy initially trapped. Each contact with the surface tends to scatter sound energy
out of the surface layer unless the sea surface is perfectly smooth. On the average,
sound can reach any given range beyond the direct path zone with fewer bounces
under deep-layer conditions than under shallow-layer conditions. With both the source
and the receiver in the layer, the deeper the layer is, the better the propagation.

Figure 7-8. Layer-Depth Surface Effect Upon Bounced Sound Rays (Bell, 1966).
7.2.2.3 Gradient in the Layer (In-Layer Gradient). Weak temperature gradients in the
layer can play a major role in the determination of the amount and strength of sound
trapped in the surface duct. In order to have a usable duct, the sound-speed gradient
must be positive.
7.2.2.4 Low-Frequency Cutoff. At low frequencies, sound energy will not be trapped in
the surface duct. This occurs when the frequency is low enough that its corresponding
wavelength is too large for all the energy to fit within the duct.

76

The cutoff frequency formula applies to variable conditions of temperature,


salinity, and depth within the surface duct.
**fc

1.5

0.3978 x Co

Zld x ( C).5
where

fc = cutoff frequency in Hz,


C = Cld - Co,
Cld = sound speed at sonic layer depth, and
Co = surface sound speed,
Zld = sonic layer depth,
0.3978 = constant, independent of measuring system (feet or meters).

**Reference: "Submarine Tactics (U)" Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 2-6, September 1986,
COMSUBDEVRON 12. CONFIDENTIAL
For the important special case of an isothermal, isohaline surface duct, this
equation becomes
6
*fc = 1.06 x 10
Zld

3/2

where
Zld = sonic layer depth, in feet
fc = frequency, in Hz.
For example, in a surface duct 100 feet thick, the lowest trapped frequency, or fc,
is 1,100 Hz. The cutoff is not sharp, but the energy in frequencies lower than fc will not
be ducted.
*Reference: Urick, Principles of Underwater Sound
Utilizing figure 7-9, the surface duct cutoff frequency can be derived for either the
single-variable formula or the three-variable formula, as previously given in paragraph
7.2.2.4. Comparison to, or verification of, the Geophysical Fleet Mission Program
Library (GFMPL) Acoustic Range Prediction System, based on either MS-DOS Version

77

8.0 or NT Version 2.1, is possible. The single-variable formula, isothermal and isohaline
water conditions, relates to the MS-DOS version, while the three-variable formula
relates to the newer NT version. For figure 7-9, the surface sound speed was kept
constant at 5,000 fps with variations in sonic layer depth and C. Interpolation must be
applied when the surface sound speed differs from 5,000 fps, with higher cutoff
frequencies for higher surface sound speeds and lower cutoff frequencies for lower
surface sound speeds.

Figure 7-9. Surface Duct Cutoff Frequency Nomograph.

7.2.2.5 Wind-Wave Effects on Layer Depth. The depth of the isothermal layer is greatly
influenced by the mixing action of ocean waves. As illustrated in figure 7-10, if the
mixing due to wave action is sufficiently high and persistent, a relatively thick layer of
well-mixed, and therefore isothermal, water will develop (profiles B and C). If there is

78

little or no wave action, heating from the sun's rays will tend to warm the surface,
resulting in the gradual production of a negative gradient, which will result in a "zero
layer depth" (profile A).

Figure 7-10. Wind-Wave Mixing Action Sequence (Bell, 1966).


Profiles D and E show the development of transient thermoclines caused by
continued heating of the ocean surface. This situation occurs frequently on summer
afternoons at lower latitudes and is referred to as the "afternoon effect." Transient
thermoclines are generally not assumed to be of major significance in VP/VS ASW
operations, but their magnitude may severely limit the effectiveness of hull-mounted
sonar systems. The effectiveness of shipboard hull-mounted systems is considerably
reduced if the transient is deeper than 25 feet and its magnitude is greater than
-0.3C/30 meters (-0.6F/100 feet). The "afternoon effect" is not normally included in
SLD prognoses, but the possibility of the existence of transient thermoclines can be
deduced from weather conditions.
Transient thermoclines usually result in a minor sound channel existing within the
surface duct. These short-term fluctuations in the general thermal structure can cause
considerable fluctuation of the sound field, especially below the transient thermocline. If
the SLD fluctuations are pronounced (greater than 35 feet), there may be a
considerable fluctuation of the sound field at the convergence zone due to fluctuations
in the depth excess.
7.2.2.6 Seasonal Effects on SLD. In the winter months, strong winds, storms, high
seas, weak solar radiation, and a great amount of mechanical mixing produce the
deepest layer depths: 120 to >275 meters (400 to >900 feet) in cold-water areas. In
the summer, the converse is generally true. In warm water, layer depths vary from 30 to
60 meters (100 to 200 feet) in winter and summer. The shallowest layer depths are
found in the tropics.
The transitional seasons (spring and autumn) produce a complex vertical soundspeed gradient. In the spring, cool water moving southward will become heated at the

79

surface, producing shallow layer depths. The sharp vertical temperature gradients in
the cold waters north of the Gulf Stream are modified less rapidly than those in the cool
masses to the south, where less pronounced upper-layer gradients exist. As a result,
deeper layers will appear in the cool waters south of the Gulf Stream before they appear
in the cold-water masses of more northerly latitudes. Transitional season charts include
typical features of both summer and winter charts.
7.2.2.7 Gradient Below the Layer. The gradient of the profile just below the SLD is a
major factor in sensor placement decisions, as is illustrated in figure 7-11. A strong
negative gradient will refract sound energy sharply downward, forcing it into the
relatively short-range bottom bounce propagation path. Placing sensors deep will allow
them a greater probability of detection. A weak negative gradient will refract sound
energy in a less vertical manner, possibly allowing it to enter into sound channel or CZ
propagation paths.

Figure 7-11. Examples of Below-Layer Negative Gradient Variations.


7.2.3 Half Channel. Half-channel conditions exist where the water is essentially
isothermal from surface to bottom, so that sound speed increases continuously with
increasing depth. Under these conditions, the greatest sound speed is at the bottom of
the ocean, and sound energy will be refracted upward, then reflected downward at the
surface, and refracted upward again. The effect is similar to a strong surface duct, and
long ranges are possible. Half-channel propagation is common during winter in the
Mediterranean and will almost always occur under the ice in polar regions.
7.2.3.1 Arctic and Half-Channel Propagation. In the Arctic Ocean region, the lack of
solar heating prevents the formation of the main thermocline evident in the lower
latitude oceans. A positive sound speed gradient extends up to shallow depths in the
summer and all the way to the ice boundary in the winter.

80

In the summer, in open water, a thin surface duct (normally 100 feet) can occur.
Strong salinity-generated positive sound speed gradients can occur in the surface
region due to melting ice or fresh water effluent from rivers in near coastal regions;
thereby removing any solar-generated negative gradients.
With the positive sound speed gradient being constant and dominant through
seasonal and diurnal variations, the sound speed profile tends to be relatively constant
over long ranges. However, with ambient noise a function of ice coverage, wind speed,
temperature, and location with respect to the Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ), there is no
guarantee of extended acoustic detection ranges.
The interaction of upward-refracted energy with the under-ice surface is
dependent upon the roughness of the ice, which serves as the major cause of
attenuation. Due to the upward refraction of the energy and the dominant effect of the
ice cover on attenuation, bottom bounce, or interaction with the seafloor, is a minor
source of propagation loss in the Arctic region.
7.2.3.2 Propagation in Arctic Waters vs. Ice-Free Waters. As compared to non-Arctic
acoustic propagation, Arctic half-channel may be expressed in general as:
Propagation:

Better - due to the dominant upward refraction of the positive


gradient (dependent upon ice roughness).
Less Variable - due to more constant meteorological
conditions.

Ambient Noise:

Lower - under a continuous ice cover with rising temperature


Higher - in a broken ice cover (as in the MIZ) or in falling
temperatures.

Surface Scattering: Higher - due to under-ice surface roughness.


Volume Scattering: Lower - due to lower occurrence of marine life.
SOUND SPEED

RANGE

D
E
P
T
H

Figure 7-12. Half-Channel Propagation Path.

81

7.2.4 Sound Channels. A Sound Channel is defined as a region in the water column
where sound speed first decreases with depth to a minimum value, and then increases
(figure 7-13). Above the depth of minimum value, the sound-speed gradient is negative,
and sound rays are bent downward. Below the depth of minimum value, the soundspeed gradient is positive, and sound rays are bent upward. Sound rays within the
channel having the proper frequency and angle may be trapped.

Figure 7-13. Sound Channel Description (Lehmann, 1998).


7.2.4.1 Secondary Sound Channels. Secondary sound channels occur in the upper
levels of the water column in the thermocline, within and below the surface layer. To be
considered useful, a secondary sound-channel must be within the depth capabilities of
the applicable tactical sensor; its thickness (Z) must be at least 100 feet; and its
strength (C), or difference in sound-speed between the boundaries and the axis, must
be at least 2.5 feet/second. Secondary sound channels are important and useful in both
active and passive detection through a range of depths and frequencies. Three
parameters are used to describe a secondary sound channel:
a. depth of the axis (SSCA = Secondary Sound Channel Axis),
b. thickness of the channel (Z), determined by the difference in depth between
the upper and lower boundaries (thickness = Z = Z2 - Z1), and
c. strength of the channel (C), determined by the difference in sound speed
between the axis and the boundary (strength = C = Cb - Ca).

82

Figure 7-14. Secondary Sound-Channel Properties (Lehmann, 1998).


7.2.4.1.1 Locations. Secondary sound channels are found in numerous regions of the
worlds oceans. They are observed in the vicinity of strong ocean fronts. The depths of
these secondary channels have a wide variation from within the surface layer to greater
than 1,000 feet. General worldwide locations of secondary sound channels are shown
in figure 7-15, with example depths illustrated in table 7-1.

83

Figure 7-15. Worldwide Locations of Secondary Sound Channels.

Table 7-1. Location and Depths of Secondary Sound Channels.

Area
A

B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J

Location
Norwegian Sea
Barents Sea
North Cape
Baffin Bay
Davis Strait
WESTLANT Gulf Stream
WESTLANT Sargasso Sea
EASTLANT Near Gibraltar
EASTLANT Other Areas
MIDLANT
Gulf of Alaska
Off Japan Kuroshio Current
Arabian Sea
South Indian

When Found
spring through fall
spring
year-round
fall
summer
spring through fall
year-round
year-round
spring through fall
spring
spring through fall
summer
year-round
year-round

84

Depths where SSCs may


be encountered (in feet)
300 to 700
200 to 400
600 to 800
250
300
200
450 to 1,100
400 to 1,100
300 to 500
300 to 400
250 to 450
450 to 750
1,100 to 1,700
450 to 500 west to 800 to
1,300 east

Secondary sound channels may be formed by two different methods. First, a


layer of cold, low-salinity water intrudes between layers of warmer, more saline water.
The depth of the intrusion is determined by the density of the colder water. This may
occur in regions of fronts and eddies. Second, a depressed sound channel may form
when the decrease in sound speed from a weak negative temperature gradient (near
isothermal water) is more than compensated for by the effect of increasing depth.
Examples of the variety in channel depths are shown in figure 7-16.
7.2.4.1.2 Cutoff Frequency. An equation for cutoff frequencies, fc, in secondary sound
channels is
** fc = 0.2652 x Ca

1.5

x (C) .5
where,
fc = cutoff frequency in Hz.
Z = sound channel thickness,
C = Cb - Ca,
Ca = sound speed at sound channel axis depth,
Cb = sound speed at channel boundaries.
0.2652 = constant, independent of measuring system (feet or meters).
**Reference: "Submarine Tactics (U)" Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 2-6, September 1986,
COMSUBDEVRON 12.
An easy method of determining the cutoff frequency fc of a secondary sound
channel is to use the nomogram illustrated in figure 7-16.
7.2.4.2 The Deep Sound Channel. The Deep Sound Channel (DSC) is sometimes
referred to as the Primary Sound Channel and has been well-known since World War II,
when the earliest investigations were made and a Sound Fixing and Ranging (SOFAR)
network was established in the Pacific. In later years it has provided the necessary
long-range propagation paths for investigations of the attenuation coefficient in the sea
at low frequencies. Today the DSC remains the best natural non-radio channel for longdistance communication, should such communication become necessary. The sound
from a small (1-2 lb) explosion can be heard above background at distances of
thousands of miles.

85

The DSC is caused by the fact that the deep sea is warm on the surface and cold
below. The surface-warming effect is not sufficient to extend all the way to the bottom
and is limited to the upper part of the water column, where it forms the main
thermocline. Below it, the sea is nearly isothermal (near 40F) and therefore has a
positive velocity gradient (figure 7-17).
Accordingly, a depth of minimum sound-speed exists, called the "axis" of the
Deep Sound Channel Axis (DSCA), toward which sound rays are continuously bent by
refraction (figure 7-17). This minimum sound-speed depth varies from around 4,000
feet (1,225 meters) in mid-latitudes to near the surface in polar regions. However, not
all propagation paths in the DSC are entirely refracted paths. When the source or
receiver, or both, lies beyond the limits of the channel, only reflected paths that
encounter either surface or bottom, or both, are possible. Refracted Surface Reflected
(RSR) paths are reflected above by the surface, and refracted below by the soundspeed gradient. Refracted Bottom Reflected (RBR) paths are refracted above and
reflected below by the bottom.

Figure 7-16. Sound Channel Low-Frequency Cutoff Graph.

86

(DSCA)
Deep
Sound
Channel
Axis

Figure 7-17. Deep Sound Channel, as displayed on Geophysical Fleet


Mission Program Library (GFMPL 8.0).
Attenuation coefficients for RSR paths have been measured and found to be
higher by a factor of 1.5 than those for entirely refracted paths, probably because of
losses at or near the sea surface. Doubly reflected paths from both surface and bottom,
together with scattering from these boundaries, form the weak, rapidly decreasing
sound signal "tail" that extends beyond the time of sudden cessation of long-range
SOFAR signals.
The upper and lower limits of the DSC are determined by the SSP and the water
depth. The highest values of sound speed in the profile usually occur in the nearsurface region. If the water depth is sufficient and the water mass is structured
properly, there is a depth below the DSCA where the sound speed increases to the
same value as that at the top of the DSC (often the SLD). This depth, referred to as the
Critical Depth, forms the lower boundary of the DSC. When the water depth is less than
that required for Critical Depth, a near-surface source will not be within the DSC and,
therefore, will not propagate sound for long ranges via the DSC. The concepts of DSC,
Critical Depth, and water depth are illustrated in figure 7-18.

87

Figure 7-18. Sound-Speed Profile, DSC, and Critical Depth.


In Profile 1, the water depth equals the Critical Depth, and the entire water
column forms the DSC. In Profile 2, the water depth is less than Critical Depth;
therefore, long-range DSC propagation is lost. In Profile 3, the water depth is greater
than Critical Depth, allowing a Depth Excess below the lower DSC boundary. In Profile
3, the DSC extends from Point A to Point B. Depth Excess is required for any
probability of CZ propagation.
7.2.5 Bottom Bounce. Reflections from the ocean bottom can extend propagation
ranges. At low frequencies, refraction within the bottom is the predominant mechanism
for returning energy. The effect of bottom bounce is to return to the depth of the
transducer sound energy that has been carried downward by the depression angle of
the transmitted pulse or by refraction. In figure 7-19, bottom-bounce rays are
represented as straight lines, and refraction effects have been ignored.
Major factors affecting bottom-bounce transmission include water depth, angle of
incidence, frequency, bottom composition, and bottom roughness. A flat ocean bottom
produces the greatest accuracy in estimating range and bearing in the bottom-bounce
mode. In active detection, the bottom-bounce transmission mode can produce
extended ranges with fewer shadow zones. More than one bottom-reflected path exists
between the sonar and target. Figure 7-19 shows the four major paths that involve a
single bottom reflection. With the existence of these paths, multipath addition can
increase the received signal level.

88

Surface

Target

Bottom
Figure 7-19. Bottom Bounce Multipaths.
7.2.6 Convergence Zones. Convergence Zones (CZ) are regions at or near the ocean
surface in which focusing of sound rays occurs, resulting in higher sound levels. The
existence with a positive gradient below, and at least 200 fathoms of depth excess
below the of convergence zones requires a negative sound-speed gradient at or near
the surface, Critical Depth for a 50-percent probability of CZ occurrence, as shown in
figure 7-20a. For example, sound rays leaving the near-surface region due to
downward refraction at shorter ranges are refracted back to the surface because of the
positive sound-speed gradient produced by greater pressure at increased ocean
depths. These deep-refracted rays often become concentrated at or near the surface
through the combined effects of downward and upward refraction. Partial focusing
begins to occur at depth when sound rays approach each other, as shown in figure 720a. The focusing effect produced by this convergence forms intense sound fields
(caustics) that may be exploited for submarine detection. When referring to figure 720a, it must be remembered that it is a vertically exaggerated example of
convergence zone propagation. The actual ray trace of the energy contained within
the convergence zone bundle travels a path similar to that illustrated in figure 7-20b.
The departure angle of the energy leaving the source usually must be near a 15 down
angle or less to be retained in the convergence zone path.

89

Figure 7-20a. Convergence Zone (CZ) Propagation and Terminology (Swanson, 1974).

Figure 7-20b. Convergence Zone Propagation Path, Undistorted Scale (Lehmann, 1992).

Convergence zone existence is dependent upon several factors: the soundspeed at source depth, the Critical Depth, and the depth excess or sound-speed excess
values. A minimum depth excess of 200 fathoms or a minimum sound-speed excess of
22 feet/second is required for a 50-percent probability of CZ occurrence with a nearsurface source. A near-surface source is at the SLD or shallower (within the layer).
With a depth excess of 300 fathoms or a sound-speed excess of 33 feet/second, the
probability of CZ occurrence increases to 80 percent for a near-surface source. Figure
7-21 illustrates the change in probability of CZ occurrence with change in the amount of
depth excess or sound-speed excess.

90

Figure 7-21. Probability of Convergence Zone (CZ) Occurrence.


In the Mediterranean Sea, the bottom water is much warmer than in the Atlantic
Ocean, and the sound speed near the bottom is consequently higher. The Critical Depth
is therefore much shallower, and the acoustic energy is refracted upward at a much
shallower depth than elsewhere. Convergence zone ranges are therefore much shorter
than those generally found in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.
There are other factors governing convergence zone propagation. Seamounts,
islands, and other features will disrupt convergence zone paths. (See chapter 8 under
discussion of Topographic Shading.)
7.2.6.1 Convergence Zone Range. Convergence zone ranges vary widely according to
several factors, such as water depth, surface temperature, sound-speed profile, and
source depth. Examples of typical ranges to first CZ are 60 kyds in the mid-Pacific and
33 kyds in the Mediterranean, as shown in table 7-2.
Table 7-2 shows the approximate relationship between surface temperature, the
water depth in fathoms required for a usable convergence zone to be present, and the
range to the first CZ. This table allows for a 200-fathom depth excess and assumes the
surface duct to be absent.

91

Table 7-2. Typical Convergence Zone Ranges (NUSC).


Area

North Pacific

North Atlantic
Norwegian Sea
Mediterranean Sea

Surface
Temperature
(F)
(C)
50
10.0
55
12.8
60
15.6
65
18.4
70
21.1
75
23.9
80
26.7
50
10.0
50
10.0
67
19.4

Minimum Depth for CZ


Operation
fm
m
ft
1,270
2,324
7,620
1,610
2,946
9,660
1,900
3,477
11,400
2,150
3,934
12,900
2,400
4,392
14,400
2,600
4,758
15,600
2,800
5,124
16,800
1,050
1,920
6,300
1,680
3,074
10,080
800
1,464
4,800

Range to
First CZ
kyd km
47
43
52
47
56
51
60
55
64
57
66
60
69
63
46
42
53
48
33
30

7.2.6.2 Convergence Zone Width. The width of the CZ is a result of complex


interrelationships and cannot be correlated with any specific factor. In practice,
however, the width of the zone is often on the order of 5 to 10 percent of the range. It
can be determined accurately on a propagation loss curve by placing the Figure of Merit
(FOM) line on top of the propagation loss curve and noting where the FOM line
intercepts the CZ inner and outer annuli. The CZ width is the difference in range
between these two points.

92

Chapter 8
Environmental Effects on Sound Propagation in Shallow Water

8.1 Introduction
USW doctrine defines shallow water as water less than 100 fathoms deep
(continental shelf). Using this general definition, 7.6 percent of the worlds oceans are
shallow water. For most naval operations, the most critical strategic and tactical
significant shallow-water regions are those continental shelf/slope areas (including
straits and choke points) adjacent to major land masses.
From an acoustic viewpoint, shallow water includes any water mass that cannot
support CZ or deep sound channel (DSC) sound propagation paths. The loss of the
long-range purely refractive propagation paths forces a dependence on normally shorter
detection range non-refractive paths. When combined with the high variability in both
temporal (time) and spatial (size/location) aspects, these factors create a much more
difficult USW environment than deep water.
The term "littoral" is defined as the region which horizontally encompasses the
land/water-mass interface from 50 statute miles ashore to 200 nautical miles at sea.
This littoral region extends vertically from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the
atmosphere and from the land surface to the top of the atmosphere. The term "shallow
water" refers only to the vertical extent from the ocean/atmosphere interface to the
bottom of the ocean. The two terms, littoral and shallow water, are often intermixed in
discussion and print, but in fact are not interchangeable. Caution should be observed
when designing briefs or presentations to specify between the two.
8.2 Environmental Factors
Numerous environmental factors influence sound propagation in shallow water.
These factors, in turn, are affected by season, geographic location, water-mass
structure, frequencies of interest, biologics, and interaction with humans.
8.2.1 Sea Surface Temperature (SST). Significant horizontal variations in temperature
structure often occur over short distances in shallow waters, and refraction in these
horizontal gradients assumes importance seldom encountered in the open ocean,
except perhaps in the vicinity of the Gulf Stream and Kuroshio/Oyashio current systems.
Due to seasonal runoff, coastal water temperature and current temperature can vary
dramatically over an annual period.
8.2.2 Salinity. Salinity, the amount of dissolved solids in seawater, has a significant
effect on the speed of sound in shallow water. Changes in salinity values (measured in
parts per thousand, ) cause changes in the acoustic properties of the water. The

93

speed of sound varies by approximately 1.4 meters per second (4.6 feet per second) for
each part per thousand change in salinity.
In shallow water, salinity can become a very important acoustic factor affecting
USW under the following circumstances: freshwater intrusion from a river or fjord or
freshwater formation from ice melt. A major intrusion of freshwater into a saltwater body
can create a salinity front. In the frontal region containing the freshwater, sound speed
will be lower within the extent of the freshwater influence. An in-situ SSP will reflect the
extent of the freshwater influence.
8.2.3 Layer Depths. MLDs, and resulting sonic layer depths (SLDs), over the
continental shelf tend to vary more from the seasonal mean than do those in deep
water. Additionally, more marked and sudden variations in both time and space are to
be expected.
8.2.4 Sound Channels. Secondary sound channels (SSCs) frequently occur in shallow
waters because of the intermixing of waters of differing temperature and salinity. As
these waters intermingle and try to sort the mixture out according to density, they tend
to resemble a poorly shuffled deck of cards. Erratic BT traces and weak, shortlived/short-extent sound channels result. These SSCs are seldom of sufficient extent or
persistence to be tactically useful to USW forces.
8.2.5 Water Depth. When the water depth/wave length ratio is less than unity, sound of
that frequency is propagated only to short ranges. The lack of any depth excess or
sufficient water depth to allow pressure to overcome the temperature influence on the
sound speed gradient prevents the formation of any longer range sound propagation
paths.
8.2.6 Bottom. Shallow-water bottom composition and topography control the
reflective capabilities of the bottom and the attenuation of sound energy. These factors
also control the degree of reverberation that masks target echoes.
8.2.7 Shallow-Water Acoustics. The principal difference between shallow-water and
deep-water sound transmission is the effects of interference produced by multiple
reflected transmission paths. These effects are dependent on several environmental
factors, the more important of which are:
a. depth of the water
b. topography, composition of the bottom, and sea state, and
c. the sound speed structure
8.2.8 Shallow-Water Ambient Noise. Deep-water ambient noise has well-defined levels
based on sea state and shipping density, whereas shallow-water levels vary
considerably. This fluctuation in shallow-water noise levels allows only rough
predictions of expected ambient noise. In situ measurements are very important in

94

littoral waters. Sound-producing marine life and man-made noise (industrial and
maritime) contribute much to the variability of shallow-water noise levels, along with the
domain effect of the bottom (basins, plateaus, ridges, canyons, etc.).
In the frequency range 100 Hz to 1,000 Hz, shallow-water ambient noise levels
are about 9 dB higher than in deep water for the same sea state and shipping density.
8.2.9 Sea-Ice Shallow-Water Ambient Noise. In shallow waters that ice over, sea ice
can significantly affect ambient noise levels. Its influence on noise levels depends
primarily on the state of the ice, that is, forming, water surface covered, or breaking up.
If no mechanical or thermal pressure is being exerted on the ice, the noise level is
generally low during ice formation. The quietest condition is ice-covered water when
the ice is neither growing, breaking up, nor ridging or hummocking. Ambient noise may
actually be attenuated by the dampening effect of the ice cover. Considerable amount
of noise is generally associated with the breakup and hummocking of ice. The
characteristic sounds of ice under stress (moaning, screeching, scraping) create a high
level of continuous interference to passive sonar. This noise peaks near 500 Hz at
about 70 dB and falls off 3-5 dB per octave from there. Figure 8-1 shows the effects on
frequency in the region of the ice edge.

Figure 8-1. Variations of Ambient Noise Near Compact Ice Edge Under Sea State 2
Conditions (redrawn from O.I. Diachok and R.S. Winokur, 1974).

95

8.2.10 Biological Noise. The effect of biological activity on overall ambient noise level
is more pronounced in shallow coastal waters than it is in the deep ocean. It is also
more pronounced in tropic and temperate zones than it is in colder regions.
In coastal waters, snapping shrimp and certain species of fish are the main
contributors to ambient noise. Snapping shrimp generally congregate in waters
shallower than 30 fathoms, and colonies inhabit areas of coral, rock, shell, and
vegetation-covered bottoms. They are found between 40 degrees north and 40
degrees south of the equator. Over a shrimp bed, levels as high as 86 dB have been
recorded in frequencies ranging from 100 Hz to 10 kHz. Snapping shrimp noise varies
diurnally; usually the levels at night are about 5 dB above those of day.
Schooling fish such as croakers can increase background noise considerably in
coastal waters. As with snapping shrimp, the individual contribution may not be
significant, but large numbers of these fish can effectively mask a quiet diesel-electric
submarine. Most sonic fish are migratory; thus, noise levels in a given area may
fluctuate throughout the year. Nearly all littoral areas have some sonic species, but
temperate and tropical waters contain greater numbers of the known sound producers.
Rock, coral, and sand bottoms are the preferred habitat of most sonic fish. Feeding,
spawning, and migratory activity of schools of sonic fish put about 74 dB of noise into
the water at frequencies ranging from 20 Hz to 4 kHz.
Marine mammals are common inhabitants of coastal waters; examples are
whales, porpoises, seals, sea lions, walruses, and manatees. Locally, where some
species congregate in herds, a considerable increase in background noise can be
expected. Since many of these animals are migratory, their contributions to ambient
noise in any given area may be only transitory. Marine mammals are worldwide in
occurrence and are generally more common in temperate and polar waters than in
tropical. Noise from porpoises has been recorded ranging from 7 Hz to 196 kHz, at
levels around 100 dB. Marine mammal noise increases slightly in the warmer months.
8.2.11 Environmental Factor Variability. Extreme variability in the water mass and sea
floor typifies shallow-water regions throughout the world. An assortment of
environmental factors, listed in table 8-1, has a direct effect on that variability.
Table 8-1. Environmental Factors Affecting Shallow-Water Variability.

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Environmental Factors
Tides
Deep-water intrusion
Upwelling
Continental runoff (freshwater from rivers, snow and ice melt, etc.)
Increased sediment deposits
Landmass influences on dynamic oceanographic and atmospheric forces
Large concentrations of sea life
Shipping activity

96

8.3 Environmental Characteristics of Shallow Water


The operational and strategic roles of targets and types of targets found in
shallow water typically differs from their counterparts in deep water. Not only is the
shallow-water environment itself unique, the acoustic response of this environment and
the acoustic USW operational scenarios have unique features as well. Some of the
many distinctive aspects of shallow water are grouped into the three general categories
of environment, acoustics, and operations as shown in tables 8-2, 8-3, and 8-4.
Table 8-2. Aspects of the Shallow-Water Environment.
Shallow-Water Environment
1. High variability in temperature and salinity that significantly affects sound
speed.
2. Irregular bathymetry, including bottom debris, pinnacles, and reefs.
3. Differing sediments than those found in deep water.
4. Tide and current effects.
5. Differing biological population and density from that of deep water.
6. High levels of wind, surf, shipping noise, and possible drilling noise from
offshore oil rigs.

Table 8-3. Aspects of Shallow-Water Acoustics.

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Shallow-Water Acoustics
Lack of CZ, Deep Sound Channel, and other long-range propagation paths.
High reverberation levels.
Dominating role of bottom loss.
Repeated boundary interactions.
Complexity of multipath structure.
High and variable ambient noise levels.
Currently unpredictable acoustic propagation conditions.
Acoustic sensor system depth restrictions.

Table 8-4. Aspects of Shallow-Water Operations.


Shallow-Water Operations
1. Greater likelihood of low doppler, quiet targets.
2. Greater likelihood of diesel-electric targets.
3. Greater likelihood of shallow-running targets.
4. Targets have greater opportunity to exploit the environment.
5. Targets may be operating in familiar coastal home waters.
6. Targets may have limited speed and depth available.
7. Surface ships may have to operate in restricted waters.
8. Air assets may be airspace limited.
9. Greater likelihood of land-based air support.
10. Proximity of nearby land targets of general strategic importance.
11. High-density shipping regions.

97

8.4 Propagation Paths


Given the extreme variability of the shallow-water USW problem, acoustic
propagation conditions will normally be highly unpredictable. Direct Path and Bottom
Bounce (BB) are the dominant propagation paths, with Surface Duct, Secondary Sound
Channel, and Half Channel possibly being available.
8.5 Tactical Considerations and Search Planning
The requirement for careful study of area bathymetric characteristics using the
best possible bottom contour charts is much more critical in shallow-water regimes.
Water depths, seafloor slope, and canyons should be noted. Wrecks and pinnacles
should be marked or circled. The 100-fathom curve should be highlighted for easy
reference. Shallow-water search is generally performed by passive acoustic sensors
complemented by high-frequency active sonars and nonacoustic sensors. Active
sensors and preparation for an urgent attack should be primary considerations in
localization efforts.
A thorough knowledge of threat mission and platform characteristics is as
important as area and environment factors. Search planning against a diesel
submarine should place emphasis on nonacoustic search modes. Passive sensors
should be placed in high-probability areas to detect snorkel periods, or in barriers
across expected transit lanes. Active sensors would be employed during periods of
alert (e.g., following nonacoustic detection, receipt of intelligence information, datum
handoff, or in isolated tactical situations such as strategic choke points). Search
planning against a nuclear submarine should place emphasis on acoustic sensors, but
should always be complemented by nonacoustic search.
Through studying the unique characteristics of the shallow-water environment,
research has identified phenomena called environmental and slope effects. The
following effects might be exploited to enhance acoustic USW operations:
a.
b.
c.
d.

Upslope Enhancement (USE)


Downslope Enhancement (DSE)
Topographic Shading
Topographic Noise Stripping (TNS)

8.5.1 Slope Enhancement. For slope enhancement to occur, several factors must be
satisfied. The slope of the ocean bottom must fall within a limited range of degrees, and
the bottom must have a low loss coefficient for bottom interaction at the frequencies of
interest. The deep-water environment must support the long-range refractive
propagation paths. Correct sensor placement relative to the shelf-slope breakpoint is
essential. Upslope and downslope enhancement of acoustic energy increases
detection ranges due to the phase addition of energy overcoming losses from bottom

98

interactions and surface reflections. Figure 8-2 represents upslope enhancement, while
Figure 8-3 represents downslope enhancement.
For upslope enhancement, the source must be in deep water, while the receiver
must be in shallow water. This geometric relationship generates an "upslope"
environment for the receiving sensor. In USE, a CZ or DSC acoustic path is converted
to a BB path as the energy moves from deep water into shallow water (upslope).

Figure 8-2. Upslope Enhancement.


For DSE, the source must be in shallow water and the receiver must be in deep
water. In DSE, a BB acoustic path is converted to a CZ or DSC path as the energy
moves downslope.

Figure 8-3. Downslope Enhancement.

99

8.5.2 Topographic Shading. The concept of topographic shading is relatively simple; it


occurs due to the removal of required water-mass depth by seamounts, islands, and
ridges. The effect is the loss of the required water depth to attain the depth excess for
deep sound channel or CZ propagation. The lack of sufficient water depth will create
shadow zones extending outward from the region of bottom interaction (figure 8-4).

Figure 8-4. Topographic Shading.


Knowledge of CZ annulus ranges within the water mass is important.
Seamounts, islands, or ridges occurring at one-half the range to the annulus will provide
the highest probability of CZ interruption. Figures 8-5 and 8-6 illustrate the bottom
interaction at one CZ range (no interaction) and at one-half the CZ range (large
attenuation of the signal).

100

Figure 8-5. No Topographic Shading with Seamount at One CZ Range.

Figure 8-6. Topographic Shading with Seamount at One-Half CZ Range.

101

8.5.3 Topographic Noise Stripping (TNS). With TNS, ambient noise from distant
shipping (greater than one CZ range) is attenuated, or stripped, via the bottom bounce
path, and the acoustic signal of interest is received via the submerged CZ propagation
path (figure 8-7). Under proper conditions, exploitation of TNS will afford an increased
signal-to-noise ratio.

Figure 8-7. Topographic Noise Stripping.

Both the Source and Receiver must be located in the negative sound speed
gradient below the Sonic Layer Depth (SLD) for this phenomenon to be exploited. An
understanding of TNS requires an understanding of the submerged CZ.
If an acoustic source moves from within the surface layer to a location of lower
sound speed below the SLD, there will be more depth excess (or sound speed excess)
available for an increased probability of CZ propagation path occurrence. The depth
excess for an in-layer source is measured from the Critical Depth to the bottom.
Critical Depth is defined as that depth below the Deep Sound Channel Axis (DSCA) with
the same sound speed as that at the SLD (figure 8-8).

102

Figure 8-8. In-Layer Source and Critical Depth.


For a below-layer source, the depth excess is measured from the Conjugate
Depth. Conjugate Depth is defined as that depth below the DSCA with the same sound
speed as that of the Source Depth. TNS may be exploited in areas where there is little
or no depth excess for an in-layer source, but still sufficient depth excess for a belowlayer source (figure 8-9).

Figure 8-9. Below-Layer Source, Conjugate Depth, and Resultant Depth Excess.

103

The operator can utilize an SSP, or multiple SSPs, and a bathymetric chart to
determine if TNS is possible in the area of interest. For an in-layer source, determine
the critical depth and mark the closest depth contour on the bathymetric chart.
CZ propagation for an in-layer source is not possible in areas shallower than the
marked contour and is considered Bottom-Limited for an in-layer source. For a belowlayer source, determine the conjugate depth and add 200 or 300 fathoms and mark the
closest depth contour on the bathymetric chart. The 200-fathom value relates to a 50
percent probability of CZ propagation path occurrence, whereas, the 300-fathom value
relates to an 80-percent probability of CZ propagation path occurrence. CZ energy
propagation for a below-layer source is unlikely for areas shallower than the marked
contour. Topographic Noise Stripping (TNS) can be exploited in the region
between the two depth contours marked on the bathymetric chart (figure 8-10).
Procedure for Determining TNS Region:

SLD
Source Depth
DSCA

Conjugate Depth
Critical Depth

1. Determine Critical Depth from SSP. (equals maximum depth for TNS)
2.

Determine Conjugate Depth from SSP.

3.

Add 200/300 fathoms to Conjugate Depth. (equals minimum depth for TNS)

4.

Ensure that Critical Depth is greater than Conjugate Depth + 200/300 fathoms.

5. Outline depth contour on Bathymetric Chart corresponding to Critical Depth.


6.

Outline depth contour on Bathymetric Chart corresponding to


Conjugate Depth + 200/300 fathoms.

7. TNS will occur in the region between the two outlined contours.

Figure 8-10. Procedure for Determining TNS Region.

104

8.6 Sensors
High-power, low-frequency active sonars are the most effective sensor for
detection of both nuclear and diesel-electric submarines in shallow-water areas. Highpower, low-frequency active sonars increase the signal-to-noise ratio by increasing the
signal output. Use processed directional transmission (PDT) or rotational directional
transmission (RDT) mode on hull-mounted sonar systems for highest source levels.
Ensure operator procedures and equipment settings are in accordance with operational
guidelines. Equipment must be aligned to peak conditions for accurate interpretation of
the environment.
Towed array employment provides effective direct path, surface duct, and
secondary sound channel monitoring. Place end fire toward high ambient noise
regions.
8.7 Acoustic Applications
Active sensors exploit downslope enhancement to reduce bottom reverberation
levels. Use maximum power to search large areas of coverage. Use frequency shifting
to reduce the effects of reverberation and mutual interference.
Passive sensors determine the acoustic environment (predeployment and in-situ
measurements). Exploit any upslope or downslope enhancement opportunities. Place
sensors below the shallow SLD to enhance detection of dominant BB path. When the
surface duct is of sufficient size, place sensors above the SLD at approximately 75
percent of SLD to monitor for shallow-running diesel-electric submarines.

105

Chapter 9
Passive Sonar

9.1 General
In passive-sonar detection and tracking, the sonar sensor receives a signal
generated by the target. The detection process involves the recognition of target
signals in the presence of interfering background noise. Thus, passive detection can be
described in terms of the factors that affect the received signal-to-noise ratio.
Passive-sonar prediction ranges supplied in environmental service products
involve equating an estimated Figure of Merit (FOM) derived from the passive-sonar
equation, to propagation-loss curves. Propagation-loss profiles are representations of
the combined effectsexpressed as functions of rangeof direct path, bottom bounce,
surface duct, convergence zone, and sound-channel modes of sound propagation in the
ocean. The propagation-loss profiles, used in conjunction with the FOM, provide a
method for predicting expected range, signal excess, and probability of detection.
9.2 Passive-Sonar Equation
The passive form of the sonar equation may be written as follows:
SE = SL - PL - NL + DI RD
or
SE = LS - PL - LN + NDI - NRD
which is also expressed as:
SE = SL - PL - LE - RD
or
SE = LS - PL - LE - NRD

106

where

NUSC

Urick

Description

Controlled By

SE

= SE

= Signal excess (dB)

Required probability of detection

LS

= SL

= Source level (dB/Pa)

Target design, maintenance and


operating mode

PL

= PL

= Propagation loss (dB)

Environment

LN

= NL

= Noise level (dB/Pa)

Environment and own platform speed

NRD

= RD

= Recognition differential
(dB)

Sonar design, maintenance, and


operator training/fatigue

LE

= LE

= Total background noise

Ambient noise, sea state, shipping


density, rain, and self noise associated
with a sonar and platform at a given
speed, sonar design, and maintenance

NDI

= DI

= Directivity index (dB)

Sonar design and maintenance

and dB/Pa means dB relative to 1 micropascal.


There are several different sets of symbols in use for sonar equation parameters.
Aviation USW operators use the symbols from Urick (1979). Surface and submarine
operators use the notation from the NUWC operating manuals for their particular
sonars. This publication will try to provide both. Definitions of the terms used in the
passive-sonar equation are presented in the following paragraphs.
9.2.1 Signal Excess (SE). Signal excess is the received signal level (in dB) in excess
of that required for detection, under the probability conditions implied in the term RD.
Detection occurs at a specified probability of detection (usually 50 percent) when the
signal excess is zero. The relationship between signal excess and probability of
detection can be determined if the statistical distribution of values of signal excess is
known or assumed.
9.2.2 Source Level (SL or LS). The source level for target-radiated noise is the acoustic
intensity reduced to a reference distance of 1 yard from the point from which the sound
appears to be radiated. SL is generally expressed as the average plane-wave acoustic

107

intensity in a 1-Hz frequency band at a reference distance of 1 yard, relative to a


reference intensity of 1Pa.
The target-noise source level depends on the type of target and its mode of
operation. It is a function of frequency, speed, depth, and aspect. Target-noise
characteristics may be obtained from applicable intelligence information.
9.2.3 Propagation Loss (PL). Propagation loss (transmission loss), as a sonar
parameter, is the reduction in signal intensity (in dB) between a point 1 yard from the
sound source and the receiving sensor. PL may be obtained from curves provided for
specific configurations, frequencies, and environmental conditions.
9.2.4 Noise Level (NL or LN). The noise level is the acoustic intensity of the total noise
background (ambient and self-noise) at the location of the receiving sensor, as
measured by a non-directional (omnidirectional) hydrophone. NL, or LN, is generally
expressed as the average plane-wave acoustic intensity in a 1-Hz bandwidth.
9.2.5 Total Background Noise (LE or LE). The Total Background Noise is the total level
of interfering noise against which a sonar system must process acoustic information in
order to detect a contact. LE, or LE, is a power summation of self-noise (Le) and
ambient noise (La).
LE = Le + La (POWER SUMMATION)
or
LE = Le + La (POWER SUMMATION)
Refer to Appendix B, section B.2.3, for instructions on Power Summing two dB values.
Le consists primarily of own-ship machinery noise (mechanical and electrical)
and flow noise caused by water flowing past the sonar transducer or hydrophone.
La is that part of the total background beam noise that is not caused by own-ship
presence in the acoustic medium and includes noise from biologics, shipping, sea
surface, and fixed sources (such as oil rigs).
The LE, or LE, term accounts for any reductions in the effective background noise
due to directional processing employed by beam-formed sonar systems. LE, or LE, is
analogous to the NL - DI, or LN - NDI term, where NL, or LN, is noise level and DI, or, NDI
is directivity index.
9.2.5.1 Directivity Index (DI or N DI). The receiver directivity index is a measure of the
amount by which an array, through its beam pattern, discriminates against noise in favor
of a signal. This property of array directionality is highly desirable, for it enables the
direction of a signal to be determined and adjacent signals to be resolved.

108

At the same time, directivity reduces noise, relative to the signal, arriving from
other directions. DI is defined as the signal-to-noise ratio (in dB) at the terminals of a
hydrophone array (or directional hydrophone), relative to the signal-to-noise ratio of a
nondirectional hydrophone. Thus defined, DI is always a positive quantity, although it
may be determined by measuring the reduction in noise intensity observed in an
isotropic noise field. The directivity of an array is a function of the dimensions of the
array, the number and spacing of elements, and the frequency of the received acoustic
energy.
9.2.6 Recognition Differential (RD or NRD). Recognition differential is defined as the
signal-to-background-noise ratio required at the sonar receiver to enable an operator to
recognize the presence of a signal 50 percent of the time. RD is determined for both
auditory and visual displays.
9.3 Figure of Merit (FOM)
The FOM is widely used in estimating overall sonar performance. It relates
allowed propagation loss to estimated detection range. The FOM for passive sonar is
defined as the maximum allowable one-way propagation loss (in dB) that a signal can
suffer for a system to meet a desired performance criterion under specific conditions.
The performance criterion requires that the signal be detected 50 percent of the time.
The FOM concept can be extended to more sophisticated detection criteria. Note that
the FOM may also be defined as the propagation loss for which signal excess is equal
to zero.
The FOM equation is as follows:
SE = SL - PL - NL + DI RD

= SL - PL - NL + DI - RD
PL = SL - NL + DI - RD
FOM = SL - NL + DI - RD
or
FOM = SL - LE - RD
or
FOM = LS - LE - NRD

109

9.4 Passive Sonar Performance Prediction


Predictions of passive-sonar performance by using the FOM expression involve
estimates of system parameters, ambient noise, target characteristics, and soundpropagation characteristics. The accuracy of these estimates is directly related to the
amount and quality of information available on each of the terms of the expression at
the time the prediction is made.
9.4.1 Variability of FOM Parameters. The value of a parameter may, at any particular
instant, be greater or less than the value used as an estimate for it in the expression for
FOM. In effect, parameter estimates are the averages that would be obtained from a
large number of measurements made under fixed conditions. Experimental evidence
indicates that the frequency of values observed is distributed in a bell-shaped
(Gaussian) curve, so that it is convenient to characterize each term in statistical terms
by its mean and standard deviation. The estimated value of FOM is, therefore, a
statistical average having a standard deviation. Standard deviations usually associated
with the terms in the passive sonar equation have been tabulated. (See Del Santo and
Bell, 1962; Bell, 1963; and paragraph 9.4.2.)
9.4.2 Probability of Detection vs. Range. The passive-sonar equation and the FOM
expression may be used with acoustic support products such as propagation-loss
(PROPLOSS) profiles, FOM probability-of-detection modification overlays, and
probability-detection nomograms to predict passive-sonar performance. Figure 9-1 is
an example of a nomogram that relates probability of detection, signal excess, and
FOM. The signal excess is derived from the difference in the determined FOM and the
propagation-loss curve. The chosen sigma value is based on the amount of knowledge
of the target and its environment. When the signal excess is applied to the selected
sigma value line, a probability of detection (%) can be determined.
To select the appropriate sigma value, use the following guidelines:
a. A sigma of 6 if ambient-noise measurements have been made and submarine
speed and type are known.
b. A sigma of 8 if ambient noise is estimated from forecasts, submarine speed is
known to within 3 knots, and type is known.
c. A sigma of 10 if ambient noise is estimated from forecasts and submarine
speed and type are uncertain.

110

Standard Deviation of FOM


(Sigma)
10 dB

8 dB

6 dB

S
i
g
n
a
l
E
x
c
e
s
s
(dB)

0.2 0.5 1 2

10

20

30 40 50 60 70 80

90

Probability of Detection (%)


Figure 9-1. Signal Excess Probability-of-Detection Graph.

111

95

98 99

Chapter 10
Active Sonar

10.1 General
Active sonar provides a means for detecting and tracking submerged or surfaced
targets; the sonar does this by "listening" to returned echoes reflected from the target.
In active detection, pulses of acoustic energy generated by the sonar (or by activeacoustic circuits in the weapons themselves) are propagated through the water to the
target. Reflected from the target, these pulses of acoustic energy travel back to the
receiver. There, range information is obtained by electronic circuitry that measures the
time interval between transmitted and received pulses.
10.2 Active-Sonar Equations
The active-sonar equations are similar to those for passive sonar. However,
active-sonar performance may be either noise- or reverberation-limited, depending on
which type of interfering background is dominant.
10.2.1 Noise-Limited Case. When the dominant background is noise, the active form of
the sonar equation may be written as follows:
SE = SL + TS - RD - NL + DI - 2PL
or
SE = LS + TS - NRD - LN + NDI - 2PL
which is also expressed as:
SE = SL + TS - RD - LE - 2PL
or
SE = LS + TS - NRD - LE - 2PL

112

where

NUSC

Urick

Description

Controlled By

SE

SE

Signal excess (echo excess)


(dB)

Required probability of detection

LS

SL

Source level (dB//Pa @ 1


yard)

Sonar design, maintenance, and


operating mode

TS

TS

Target strength (dB)

Target design and aspect

LN

NL

Noise level

Environment and own platform speed

NRD

RD

Recognition differential (dB)

Sonar design/maintenance and


operating training/fatigue

LE

LE

Total background noise


(dB//Pa)

Environment and own ships speed,


sonar design, and maintenance

NDI

DI

Receiver directivity index


(dB)

Sonar design and maintenance

PL

PL

Propagation loss (dB)

Environment

10.2.2 Reverberation-Limited Case. When the dominant background is reverberation,


the active-sonar equation may be written as follows:
SE = SL + TS - RD - RL - 2PL
or
SE = LS + TS - NRD - RL - 2PL

113

where

NUSC

Urick

Description

Controlled By

SE

SE

Signal excess (echo excess)


(dB)

Required probability of detection

LS

SL

Source level (dB//Pa @ 1


yard)

Sonar design, maintenance, and


operating mode

TS

TS

Target strength (dB)

Target design and aspect

NRD

RD

Recognition differential (dB)

Sonar design/maintenance and


operating training/fatigue

RL

RL

Reverberation level

Environment and beam steering


sonar mode

PL

PL

Propagation loss (dB)

Environment, frequency, and


geometry

10.3 Active-Sonar Equation Parameters


The terms used in the active-sonar equations are described in the following
paragraphs.
10.3.1 Signal Excess (SE). Signal excess is the received signal level (in dB) in excess
of that required for detection, under the probability conditions implied in the term RD.
Detection occurs at a specified probability of detection (usually 50 percent) when the
signal excess is zero. The relationship between signal excess and probability of
detection can be determined if the statistical distribution of values of signal excess is
known or assumed. In active-sonar systems, however, signal excess is often referred
to as echo excess.
10.3.2 Recognition Differential (RD or NRD). Recognition differential is defined as the
signal-to-background-noise ratio required at the sonar receiver to enable an operator to
recognize the presence of a signal 50 percent of the time. RD is determined for both
auditory and visual displays.
10.3.3 Source Level (SL or LS). For an active sonar, the source level of a projector is
the intensity of the radiated sound in decibels, relative to a reference intensity of 1Pa,
referred to at a point 1 yard from the acoustic center of the projector in the direction of

114

the target. LS includes whatever increase due to the projector directivity is appropriate
to the particular operating mode, such as RDT or PDT.
10.3.4 Target Strength (TS). The target strength of a reflecting object is the amount by
which the apparent intensity of sound scattered by the target exceeds the intensity of
the incident sound. The reference distance is 1 yard from the acoustic center of the
target.
The value of target strength depends on the size, shape, construction, type of
material, roughness, and aspect of the target, as well as the angle, frequency, and
waveform of the incident sound energy. A typical butterfly pattern associated with
submarine target strength is shown in figure 10-1. Seldom are all of the characteristics
of this typical pattern observed at one time. This pattern is caused by specular and
nonspecular reflection of the signal by the target (Urick, 1967; COMCRUDESGRUTWO/
DESDEVGRU, 1974).

Figure 10-1. Aspect Variation of Submarine Target Strength (Urick, 1967).


10.3.5 Noise Level (NL or LN). LE values calculated for the passive sonar equation are
at spectrum level. To convert to the noise appropriate for the active sonar equation,
10 log BW (BW = receiver bandwidth) must be added to spectrum level L E. For
example, if an active sonar has a receiver bandwidth of 300 Hz, 25 dB must be added
to the spectrum level L E to get the total noise against which the echo must be
recognized.

115

10.3.6 Propagation Loss (PL). Propagation loss (transmission loss), as a sonar


parameter, is the reduction in signal intensity (in dB) between a point 1 yard from the
sound source and the receiving sensor. PL may be obtained from curves provided for
specific configurations, frequencies, and environmental conditions. Two-way
propagation loss is used in the active sonar equations, since sound energy must
traverse the propagation path twice.
10.3.7 Receiver Directivity Index (DI or NDI). The receiver directivity index is a measure
of the amount by which an array, through its beam pattern, discriminates against noise
in favor of a signal. This property of array directionality is highly desirable, for it enables
the direction of a signal to be determined and enables adjacent signals to be resolved.
At the same time, directivity reduces noise, relative to the signal, arriving from other
directions. DI is defined as the signal-to-noise ratio (in dB) at the terminals of a
hydrophone array (or directional hydrophone), relative to the signal-to-noise ratio of a
nondirectional hydrophone. Thus defined, DI is always a positive quantity, although it
may be determined by measuring the reduction in noise intensity observed in an
isotropic noise field.
The directivity of an array is a function of the dimensions of the array, the number and
spacing of elements, and the frequency of the received acoustic energy.
10.3.8 Reverberation Level (RL). When an active sonar is reverberation-limited, the
term (LE) that appears in the noise-limited equation is replaced by RL, the reverberation
level observed at the receiver beamformer output terminals. The reverberation level
can be calculated in much the same way as the received signal level, to which it is
analogous. RL is, therefore, a function of source level and range, as well as the
dominant reverberation scatterers (volume, sea surface, or bottom).
10.4 Active-Sonar Performance Prediction
The active-sonar equations may be used to predict active-sonar performance.
Performance may be predicted by direct application of the equations for signal excess in
a manner analogous to that described in chapter 9, paragraph 9.3. The Figure-of-Merit
concept, however, is not useful for the reverberation-limited case. This is because as
the source level increases, the reverberation level will increase at the same rate as the
return from the target.
For a discussion of procedures for predicting active-sonar ranges for current
operational sonars, see current sonar manual.
Signal excess is related to probability of detection in a manner conceptually
identical to the passive-sonar case. A graph typifying the relationship between signal
excess and probability of detection for active sonars is given in figure 10-2.

116

Figure 10-2. Probability of Detection for Various Values of Signal Excess.

117

Appendix A
Glossary of Terms, Acronyms, and Abbreviations

ABSORPTION. The reduction of sound intensity caused by the conversion of sound


energy into heat as it passes through water.
ACOUSTIC SIGNATURE. The noise output of a particular class of submarine/ship/
aircraft expressed as Spectrum Level.
ACTIVE SONAR. See SONAR.
AFTERNOON EFFECT. The solar heating of the surface water, which causes shallow
negative temperature gradients. This results in downward refraction of sound rays and
reduced surface duct ranges.
AMBIENT LIMITED SPEED (ALS). For a ship or submarine platform, the slowest
recommended search speed. At this speed or slower, acoustic detection ranges are
limited by the ambient noise in the environment, and NOT by the platforms self noise.
(This occurs at the speed where self noise = ambient noise 6 dB.) Also, see BREAK
POINT SPEED (BPS).
AMBIENT NOISE (AN). Noise in the sea due to biologics, shipping, ice motion,
precipitation, and sea surface agitation caused by winds and terrestrial movements.
Self noise and reverberation are not considered ambient noise.
AOS. Atlantic Oceanographic Synopsis. A message synopsis of oceanographic
conditions in the Atlantic promulgated by NAVLANTMETOCCEN.
ARRAY. A group of two or more hydrophones arranged to provide a variation of
reception with direction when beamformed.
ATTENUATION. The reduction in sound intensity (dB/kyd) caused by the absorption
and scattering of sound in water.
AXBT. Aircraft Expendable Bathythermograph. Bathythermograph launched from an
aircraft which can record water temperature versus depth down to 2,500 feet.
BACKGROUND NOISE. All unwanted sounds received by a hydrophone; includes
ambient and self-noise.
BACKSCATTERING. That part of the reflected sound energy that returns to the
transducer; equivalent to reverberation.
BAND LEVEL. The level of noise or signal in a specified frequency band.

118

BATHYTHERMOGRAPH. An instrument used to obtain a permanent, graphical record


of water temperature (F or C) with depth (feet or meters) as it is lowered into the sea.
The temperature with depth report is often referred to as a BATHY or BT. See XBT,
AXBT, SXBT, and SSXBT.
BEAUFORT SCALE. A system for estimating and reporting wind speeds that uses a
scale ranging from 0 to 12.
BISTATIC. Refers to the case in active sonar where the active source and the receiving
hydrophone are separated. Also, see MONOSTATIC and MULTISTATIC.
BOTTOM BOUNCE (BB). Sound transmission in which sound rays strike the bottom;
one reflection may attain ranges up to 20 kiloyards. Bottom-reflected ray paths are
those ray paths whose angles when leaving the source exceed the departure angle of
the ray which is tangent to the bottom (limiting ray).
BOTTOM INTERACTION. Interaction of underwater sound with the ocean bottom,
whether the sound is reflected from the sediment, or refracted through it, or both. At low
frequencies, refraction may produce a focusing, somewhat similar to a convergence
zone.
BOTTOM LIMITED. The ocean bottom occurs at a depth less than the critical depth.
CZ propagation is prevented from occurring. DSC propagation is restricted to a deep
source.
BOTTOM LOSS UPGRADE (BLUG). Improved prediction system which models lowfrequency sound refraction through the sediments.
BREAK POINT SPEED (BPS). For a ship or submarine platform, the fastest
recommended search speed. At this speed or faster, acoustic detection ranges are
limited by the platforms self noise, and NOT by the ambient noise in the environment.
(This occurs at the speed where self noise = ambient noise.) Also, see AMBIENT
LIMITED SPEED (ALS).
CASS (COMMAND ACTIVATED SONOBUOY SYSTEM). Active sonobuoy that
transmits pulses on command.
CAUSTIC. In a 2-dimensional ray diagram, a caustic is a curve formed by the
intersections of adjacent rays in the diagram. A focus occurs when a caustic
degenerates to a point or a small region of space.
CAVITATION. The formation of local cavities (bubbles) in a liquid as a result of the
reduction of total pressure. This pressure reduction may result from a negative
pressure produced by rarefaction or from the reduction of pressure by hydrodynamic
flow, such as that produced by high-speed movement of an underwater propeller.

119

CONJUGATE DEPTH. For a source below the Sonic Layer Depth (SLD), that depth
below the deep sound channel axis where the sound speed equals the speed at the
source depth.
CONTINENTAL RISE. A gentle slope with a generally smooth surface found between
the continental slope and the abyssal plain.
CONTINENTAL SHELF. A zone adjacent to a continent and extending from the low
waterline (shoreline) to a depth at which there is a marked increase of bottom slope,
known as the continental slope, to a greater depth (usually about the 100-fathom curve).
CONTINENTAL SLOPE. A zone from the outer edge of a continental shelf to the
continental rise.
CONVECTION CURRENTS. Whenever the surface water undergoes intensive cooling,
evaporation, or freezing, the density of the surface water increases beyond that of the
underlying water. As this denser water sinks to a level of the same density, currents are
produced by warmer water flowing in to replace the sinking surface water.
CONVERGENCE ZONE (CZ). That region in the deep ocean where sound rays,
refracted from the depths, are focused at or near the surface in successive intervals. [A
convergence zone is a sound-transmission channel in the deep ocean (2,500-15,000
feet [750-4500 meters]) produced by the combination of pressure and temperature
changes. Convergence zones exist in shallow water but have different characteristics.]
CORRELATION. Correlation is the process of comparing two signals and producing an
output that is a function of some relation between the two signals. The signals may be
compared in frequency, amplitude, or phase. A device that accomplishes this process
is called a correlator. The output voltage of a correlator is proportional to the similarity
of the two signals.
CRITICAL ANGLE. The grazing angle of a sound wave with the sea bottom at which
total reflection occurs.
CRITICAL DEPTH. The depth below the Deep Sound Channel (DSC) axis at which the
sound speed is the same as it is at the sonic layer depth. The critical depth is the
bottom of the DSC.
CUTOFF FREQUENCY. The lowest frequency (or the largest wavelength) that can be
trapped in a surface duct or sound channel. The cutoff frequency is determined by the
thickness, as well as by the strength (C=Cmax Cmin) of the duct or channel. It is not a
sharp cutoff, but frequencies much lower than the cutoff will be strongly attenuated,
while frequencies much higher than the cutoff will be trapped. Frequencies near the
cutoff may or may not be trapped, depending on such parameters as the sound-speed
gradients within and below the duct or channel.

120

DECIBEL (dB). A value that expresses the comparison of sounds of two different
intensities. The value is defined as 10 times the logarithm to the base 10 of the ratio of
the two sound intensities.
DEEP LAYER. The layer of water between the lower edge of the main thermocline and
the ocean bottom. It is characterized by a nearly constant temperature and a positive
sound-speed gradient caused by pressure.
DEEP SCATTERING LAYER (DSL). The stratified population(s) of organisms in
oceanic waters that scatter sound. The scattered sound is recorded on echo-sounder
records as a uniform horizontal band or stripe. These layers are generally found during
the day at depths from 100 to 400 fathoms. A layer is rarely less than 25 fathoms thick
and may be as much as 100 fathoms thick. Several layers are often recorded at the
same time and may be continuous for many miles. Most layers typically undergo
diurnal vertical movements. Also called false bottom or phantom bottom.
DEEP SOUND CHANNEL (DSC). The main sound channel of the ocean, caused by
the negative sound-speed gradient of the thermocline and the positive gradient of the
deep layer.
DENSITY. The density of sea water is the mass per unit volume. It increases with
increasing salinity and pressure and decreases with increasing temperature.
DEPRESSION/ELEVATION (D/E). The feature of a sonar set that enables its beam to
be trained in the vertical direction.
DEPTH EXCESS. The difference between the bottom depth and the critical depth.
DEPTH REQUIRED. Minimum depth required for a reliable convergence zone to exist.
It is 200-300 fathoms below the critical depth.
DICASS. Directional Command Activated Sonobuoy System. Directional active
sonobuoy.
DIFAR. Directional Frequency Analysis and Recording. Directional passive sonobuoy.
DIRECTIVITY INDEX (DI). The amount by which a hydrophone array, through its beam
pattern, discriminates against isotropic noise in favor of the signal. It refers
conventionally to a plane-wave signal in isotropic noise. DI is the signal-to-noise ratio
(SNR) in dB of an array or directional hydrophone relative to the SNR of a
nondirectional hydrophone, and is always positive.
DIURNAL CYCLE. A regular daily sequence of events or conditions occurring within
each 24-hour day.

121

DOWNSLOPE ENHANCEMENT. Also known as the megaphone effect. Acoustic


energy from a source in shallow water changes from a bottom bounce path to a
convergence zone or sound channel path as it travels to deeper water, and is
concentrated down the slope to a receiver in deep water. Also, see UPSLOPE
ENHANCEMENT.
DSL. See Deep Scattering Layer.
DYNE. A unit of force in the centimeter-gram-second system of measurement that is
defined as the force that gives a 1-gram mass an acceleration of 1 cm/sec2.
ECHO. In active sonar, the sound waves generated by the projector to the target and
reflected from the target to the hydrophone or source.
ECHO RANGING. Determination of distance by measuring the time interval between
emission of a sonic signal and the return of its echo from a reflector.
EDDY. A circular body of water usually formed, where currents pass obstructions,
between two adjacent currents flowing counter to each other, or along the edge of a
permanent current.
EL NINO. Warm current which generally develops from December through March each
year and flows south along the coasts of Ecuador and Peru. A concurrent shift in the
tropical rain belt also takes place. It is part of the Southern Oscillation.
ENSONIFY. See INSONIFY.
EOTS. Expanded Ocean Thermal Structure.
EXTENDED ECHO RANGING (EER). Multistatic active acoustic system, utilizing the
SSQ-110 or SSQ-110A sonobuoy as the source and generally using the SSQ-77B
sonobuoy as the receiver.
FIGURE OF MERIT (FOM). A measure of the effectiveness of a sonar set for a
particular situation. It is the maximum allowable propagation loss that a signal can
suffer for a system to meet a desired performance criterion, usually a 50-percent
probability of detection.
FLOW NOISE. The noise produced by water movement past the transducer or
hydrophone array housing. The noise produced at the hull of a moving ship. The noise
created by turbulent flow in the turbulent boundary layer around the hydrophone.
FLENUMMETOCCEN. Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center.
Located in Monterey, California.

122

FREQUENCY, SOUND. The number of sound waves passing a point in a given time;
measured in Hertz: 1 Hz = 1 cycle/second.
GRADIENT. The rate of change in a given distance of an environmental variable. For
example, in the sea a vertical temperature gradient is the change of temperature with
depth. A positive gradient is a temperature increase with depth; a negative gradient is a
temperature decrease with depth.
GRAZING ANGLE. The angle a sound ray makes with an ocean boundary. Measured
in degrees from the boundary surface.
HALF CHANNEL. An upward-refracting condition where the sound-speed gradient is
positive from the surface all the way to the bottom. Behaves like a very thick surface
duct. Occurs in high latitude waters and in the Mediterranean Sea in winter.
HIGH-FREQUENCY BOTTOM LOSS (HFBL). A data base which supports highfrequency (1,500-4,000 Hz) performance prediction capability for sonar applications.
The HFBL data base divides the worldwide ocean bottom into 9 categories, with
category 1 = low loss and category 9 = high loss. Each category has an associated
bottom loss versus grazing angle curve.
HYDRODYNAMIC NOISE. See FLOW NOISE.
HYDROPHONE. An acoustic device that receives and converts underwater sound
energy into electric waves.
ICAPS. Integrated Carrier ASW Prediction System.
INSONIFY. To project sound energy into any part of the sea.
INTENSITY, SOUND. The amount of sound energy per second crossing a unit area.
INTERNAL WAVE. A wave that occurs in the ocean medium either at a surface of
density discontinuity (as in fronts) or at the boundary between the mixed layer and the
thermocline.
ISOSPEED. Values of sound speed are the same in all parts of a given water column;
no change in sound speed with depth.
ISOTHERMAL. Of equal or constant temperature with respect to space or time; no
increase or decrease in temperature with depth.
ISOTROPIC. Having the same physical properties in all directions.
IVDS. Independent Variable Depth Sonar.

123

LAYER DEPTH. The depth of the lower edge of the surface layer, that is, the top of the
thermocline. Also may be the depth of maximum sound speed near the surface.
LAYER EFFECT. When sound passes through a layer in which little or no bending of
the ray path occurs and then passes into a layer with a strong negative gradient
(causing sharp downward bending of the ray), increased spreading occurs with a
consequent loss of sound intensity.
LIMITING RAY. The sound ray that becomes tangent at the depth where the sound
speed is at maximum; it delimits the outer boundary of direct (before reflection) sound
rays.
LINE COMPONENT. A discrete, narrow band tonal (line) produced by a noise source.
LITTORAL. The region which horizontally encompasses the land/watermass interface
from 50 statute miles ashore to 200 nautical miles at sea. This region extends vertically
from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the atmosphere at sea and from the land
surface to the top of the atmosphere over land.
LOFAR. Low-Frequency Analysis and Recording. Search technique using
omnidirectional sonobuoys.
LOW-FREQUENCY BOTTOM LOSS (LFBL). A data base which supports lowfrequency performance prediction capability for sonar application (50-1,000 Hz). The
LFBL implementation uses geoacoustic parameters, including sediment sound speed,
attenuation, density, and sediment thickness to derive bottom loss for input into
performance prediction models. The LFBL data base is comprised of 803 LFBL
provinces, each of which has 15 geoacoustic parameters. These parameters describe
the reflective and refractive characteristics of the ocean bottom.
MAD. Magnetic Anomaly Detection.
MAIN ACOUSTIC RESPONSE AXIS (MRA). The axis of the major lobe of the receiving
or transmitting array beam pattern.
MAIN THERMOCLINE. The layer of water between the surface layer and the deep
layer; it is characterized by a negative sound-speed gradient. Also known as the
permanent thermocline.
MARGINAL ICE ZONE (MIZ). The transition region between the solid ice pack and the
open seas in polar regions. Region of high ambient noise across a wide frequency
spectrum.
MDR (Mean Detection Range). The range at which there is a 50-percent chance of
detecting a particular target, with a particular figure-of-merit (FOM) and propagation loss
profile. It is the range where the FOM line first intersects the propagation loss curve.

124

MGS. Marine Geophysical Survey.


MICROBAR. A unit used in sonar work to measure sound pressure. One microbar is
equal to one dyne per square centimeter, which is about one millionth of an atmosphere.
The symbol is bar.
MICROPASCAL (Pa). Reference pressure level equivalent to one millionth of one
Newton/meter2; used in underwater acoustics and equal to 10-5 bar. A signal of 1Pa
is 100 dB less intense than a signal of 1 bar. Older publications referenced sound
pressure levels to 1 bar or .0002 bar.
MIXED LAYER DEPTH (MLD). The point of maximum near-surface temperature.
MKS. Meters Kilograms Seconds.
MONOSTATIC. Refers to the case in active sonar where the active source and the
receiving hydrophone are collocated. Also, see BISTATIC and MULTISTATIC.
MULTISTATIC. Refers to the case in active sonar where there is an active source and
multiple receivers, some of which are separated from the source. Also, see BISTATIC
and MONOSTATIC.
NAVLANTMETOCCEN. Naval Atlantic Meteorology and Oceanography Center.
Located in Norfolk, Virginia.
NAVOCEANO. Naval Oceanographic Office. Located at Stennis Space Center,
Mississippi.
NAVPACMETOCCEN. Naval Pacific Meteorology and Oceanography Center. Located
at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
NOISE LEVEL (NL or LN). The Noise Level is the acoustic intensity of the total noise
background (ambient and self noise) at the location of the receiving sensor.
NUWC. Naval Undersea Warfare Center.
OCEANIC FRONT. The interface between two water masses having different
temperature and/or salinity characteristics. A tactically significant front will have a large
effect on sound transmission and propagation loss.
OAML. Oceanographic and Atmospheric Master Library.

125

OCTAVE. The interval between two frequencies having a ratio of 2:1. Thus, going one
octave higher means doubling the frequency, and going one octave lower means
changing to one-half the original frequency. For example, 440 to 880 Hz is one octave,
880 to 1,760 Hz is the next higher octave, and 440 to 220 Hz is the next lower octave.
ONR. Office of Naval Research. Located in Washington, D.C.
PASSIVE SONAR. See SONAR.
PDT. Processed Directional Transmission. An active-sonar mode.
PLANKTON. All passively drifting or weakly swimming plant and animal life in marine
and fresh waters. Plankton range in size from microscopic to jellyfishes measuring six
feet across the umbrella or bell.
POS. Pacific Oceanographic Synopsis. Weekly oceanographic message summary
promulgated by NAVPACMETOCCEN (Eastern Pacific) and NAVPACMETOCCEN
WEST Guam (Western Pacific).
PROBABILITY OF DETECTION (POD). The probability of detecting a given target,
based on figure of merit and propagation loss as a function of range.
PROPAGATION LOSS (PL). Loss of sound intensity due to spreading and attenuation
during travel through a medium on a transmission path. The reduction in signal
intensity (in dB) between a point 1 yard from the sound source and the receiving sensor.
Also called transmission loss (TL).
RADIATED NOISE. The spectrum level of the sound energy radiated by a platform.
Machinery and propeller noise dominate, but hydrodynamic noise is also a factor. It is
normally expressed as a sound level in dB//1Pa referenced to a distance of 1 yard
from the source in a 1 Hz bandwidth.
RAREFACTION. The condition in a sound wave where the pressure is lower than the
average pressure exerted by the medium in which the wave propagates.
RAY PATH. A path perpendicular to the acoustic wavefront as the wave travels through
the water.
RBR. Refracted Bottom Reflected ray path.
RDT. Rotational Directional Transmission. An active sonar mode.
RECOGNITION DIFFERENTIAL (RD or NRD). The special value of the signal-to-noise
ratio required at the sonar receiver that permits a 50-percent probability of detecting a
target signal. The symbol is RD (measured in dB).

126

REFERENCE LEVEL. In underwater sound, the standard level to which other sound
levels can be related. Three reference levels commonly used are 1 dyne/cm2 (=1 bar),
0.0002 dyne/cm2, and 10-5 dyne/cm2 (=1 Pa).
REFLECTION LOSS. The component of propagation loss resulting from imperfect
reflections at the ocean boundaries.
REFRACTION. The bending or curving of a sound ray that results when the ray passes
from a region of one sound speed to a region of a different speed. The amount of ray
bending is dependent upon the amount of difference between sound speeds, that is, the
variation in temperature, salinity, and pressure of the water. Controlled by Snells Law.
RELIABLE ACOUSTIC PATH (RAP). A Direct Path transmission mode with a
shallow/deep or deep/shallow geometry for the source and receiver. RAPs are not
related to the DSC, half channel, or BB transmission modes.
REVERBERATION. The combined sound of many small echoes returned to the
hydrophone due to scattering at the ocean surface (surface reverberation) and at the
bottom (bottom reverberation), and/or scattering in the water mass (volume
reverberation). Examples of sources of reverberation are air bubbles and suspended
solid matter.
REVERBERATION LEVEL (RL). Reverberation level is a ratio of the acoustic intensity,
expressed in dB units, produced by pertinent scatters (volume, sea surface, or bottom)
as a function of source level and range. RL is used in the active sonar equation.
REVERBERATION LIMITED. Refers to the condition in active sonar when the
reverberation interference level is higher than the background noise level. In this case,
the term RL replaces LE in the active sonar equation.
RMS. Root Mean Square.
RSR. Refracted Surface Reflected ray path.
SALINITY. The amount (in grams) of total dissolved salts present in one kilogram of
water. This is equivalent to parts per thousand (ppt or ). Salinity (S) is determined by
measuring the electrical conductivity of a seawater sample: the higher the conductivity,
the greater the salinity.
SCATTERING STRENGTH. The ratio (in dB) of scattered sound from a surface or
volume, referred to a distance of 1 yard, to the incident plane-wave intensity (energy per
unit area or volume).
SEA STATE. A numerical or written representation of the roughness of the sea surface;
the symbol is SS.

127

SEA STATE LIMITED. Refers to the condition when sea surface noise is the
predominant source of background noise.
SEA SURFACE NOISE. Noise caused by the action of surface waves. Sea surface
noise is the predominant source of ambient noise in the open ocean.
SELF NOISE. The component of background noise generated by the listening ship or
submarine; the symbol is Le.
SELF NOISE LIMITED. Refers to the condition when self noise is the predominant
source of background noise. This occurs when a ship or submarine is travelling faster
than its breakpoint speed (BPS).
SENSITIVITY. The measure of how well a device converts sound level to voltage level.
Measured in dB/ Pa/volt.
SHADOW ZONE. A region in which very little sound energy penetrates, depending
upon the strength of the lower boundary of the surface duct. It is usually bounded by
the lower boundary of the surface duct and the limiting ray. There are two shadow
zones: the sea surface, beneath which a shadow is cast by the surface in the sound
field of a shallow source, and the deep-sea bottom, which produces a shadow zone in
the upward-refracting water above it.
SHALLOW WATER. Normally considered as being less than 100 fathoms. Usually
considered to be water of such depth that bottom topography affects surface waves.
Only refers to the vertical extent from the ocean/atmosphere interface to the bottom of
the ocean. Acoustically defined as water depth which will not support convergence
zone (CZ) or deep sound channel sound propagation paths.
SIGNAL EXCESS (SE). The difference in dB between received signal-to-noise ratio
and recognition differential. This is equivalent to the received signal level in dB in
excess of that required for a 50 percent probability of detection.
SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO. The difference in dB between the received signal and
the received noise; the symbol is SNR.
SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT (H 1/3). The significant wave height is defined as the
average height of the highest one-third of the selected waves, and is often thought of as
the most typical height reported by an observer. The average is determined by dividing
the time of record by the significant period.

128

SIMAS. Sonar In-Situ Mode Assessment System. On-board acoustic prediction system
installed on destroyers and frigates equipped with the SQQ-89 Surface Antisubmarine
Warfare Combat System. SIMAS provides active and passive range predictions,
equipment settings, command summaries, and environmental updates based on XBT
data, equipment selections and target parameters.
SIMAS II is the latest version of this on-board prediction system and will automatically
process an XBT and update the active sonar setting recommendations. SIMAS II is
also connected to the 53B/C/D sonar and SQR-19 towed array and will monitor/display
reverberation and towed array ambient noise in near-real time.
SINGLE-PING, 50-PERCENT PROBABILITY-OF-DETECTION RANGE. That range at
which the signal excess becomes zero. The single-ping, 50-percent-probability-ofdetection criterion has long been a fleet standard. The median detection range and the
inner- and outer-range rings of the bottom-bounce annulus and convergence-zone
annulus are each determined by this probability-of-detection criterion.
SNELL'S LAW. When a wave (light or sound) travels obliquely from one medium to
another, the ratio of the sine of the angle of incidence to the sine of the angle of
refraction is the same as the ratio of the respective wave speeds in the mediums and is
a constant for two particular media. (This is true for all angles measured with respect to
the perpendicular to the interface between the two media. If grazing angles are used
instead, replace sine with cosine.)
SOFAR. Sound Fixing and Ranging. A position-fixing system by which hyperbolic lines
of position are determined by measuring, at listening stations, the difference in time of
reception of sound signals produced in the sound channel.
SOFAR CHANNEL. The deep sound channel. So called from the WWII Sound Fixing
and Ranging (SOFAR) system designed for locating aviators downed at sea.
SONAR. Sound Navigation and Ranging. The method or equipment for determining by
underwater sound techniques the presence, location, or nature of objects at sea. A
system for determining the location and distance of an underwater object by measuring
the time interval between transmission of a sound signal and its reflection back to the
projector (active sonar). Evaluation of a signal received by a hydrophone from a target
(passive sonar).
SONIC LAYER DEPTH (SLD). The depth of maximum near-surface sound speed
above the deep sound channel.
SONOBUOY. A free-floating or anchored device that includes a buoy with radio
telemetering equipment and hydrophone suspended beneath. Sound signals received
at the hydrophone are transmitted by radio to a nearby receiver for analysis. Designed
for delivery from aircraft.

129

SOUND CHANNEL. That region in the water column where the sound speed first
decreases to a minimum value with depth and then increases in value, due to pressure.
Above the depth of minimum value, sound rays are bent downward; below the depth of
minimum value, rays are bent upward, resulting in the rays being trapped in this
channel, and permitting their detection at great ranges from the sound source.
SOUND CHANNEL AXIS. The depth of minimum sound speed within a sound channel.
Abbreviated as DSCA for the Deep Sound Channel Axis or SSCA for the Secondary
Sound Channel Axis.
SOUND SPEED. The rate of travel at which sound energy moves through a medium,
usually expressed in feet per second or meters per second.
SOUND SPEED EXCESS. The difference between the sound speed at the ocean
bottom and at the bottom of the surface layer.
SOUND SPEED GRADIENT. The rate of change of sound speed with depth in the
ocean.
SOUND SPEED PROFILE (SSP). A graph of the variation of sound speed with water
depth.
SOURCE LEVEL (ACTIVE) (SL or LS). The total power output of an active transducer
in dB/Pa at 1 yard from the transducer; the symbol is SL.
SOURCE LEVEL (PASSIVE) (SL or LS). Amount of acoustic energy in dB radiated
omnidirectionally by the target at a particular frequency; the symbol is SL. SL is
generally expressed as the average plane wave-radiated acoustic intensity in a 1-Hz
band at a reference distance of 1 yard from the source and relative to a reference
intensity of 1 Pa.
SOUTHERN OSCILLATION. Multiyear variation in the surface temperature of the
equatorial Pacific, which appears to have far-reaching effects on worldwide rainfall and
temperature patterns.
SPECTRUM LEVEL. The level of noise or a broadband signal in a frequency band 1
Hz (1 cps) wide.
SPECULAR REFLECTION. A mirrorlike reflection of sound rays from the ocean
surface, bottom, or a target, having small irregularities compared with the wavelength of
the incident sound.

130

SPREADING LOSS. The phenomenon whereby transmitted sound intensity decreases


in a constant relation to distance from the sound source. The spreading laws relate
sound intensity to a ratio of distance from the sound source. These spreading laws are:
IR= Io/R = Cylindrical Spreading,
IR= Io/R2 = Spherical Spreading, and
IR= Io/R4 = Dipolar Spreading;
where
Io = target output intensity, IR = sound intensity at range R, and R = distance
from target.
SST. Sea Surface Temperature.
SSXBT. Submarine Expendable Bathythermograph. Bathythermograph, launched from
a submarine, which can record water temperature versus depth down to 2,500 feet.
STATIC PRESSURE. The portion of the total pressure in the ocean that increases with
depth and does not vary with time. (The pressure that would exist in the ocean if no
sound waves were present.)
SUBBOTTOM. Term used to describe the variation in density and structure of the
ocean floor. With the penetration of the ocean floor by lower frequencies, density and
structure of the layers of materials making up the near-surface bottom region must be
considered in acoustic range propagation.
SURFACE DUCT. A zone below the sea surface where sound rays are refracted
toward the surface and then reflected. The rays alternately are refracted and reflected
along the duct out to relatively long distances from the sound source.
SURTASS. Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System. Passive USW towed array
streamed by specially configured T-AGOS non-combatant survey ships.
SVP. Sound Velocity Profile is the older, less accurate, term for SSP, Sound Speed
Profile.
SXBT. Surface Expendable Bathythermograph. Bathythermograph launched from a
surface ship which can record water temperature versus depth down to 2,500 feet.
TACTAS. Tactical Towed Array Sonar. Passive USW towed array designed to be
towed at tactical ship speeds by USN surface combatants. The current version is the
AN/SQR-19.

131

TARGET STRENGTH (TS). A measure of the reflecting power of the target stated in
dB. The ratio of the target echo is measured 1 yard from the target to the sound
incident on the target.
THERMOCLINE. A temperature gradient in a layer of sea water where the temperature
decreases continuously with depth. Usually the gradient is greater than 2.7 oF per 165
feet (1.5 oC per 50 meters) of depth.
TOPOGRAPHIC NOISE STRIPPING (TNS). Ambient noise from distant shipping
(>1 CZ range away) is attenuated, or stripped, by interaction with the ocean bottom,
while the acoustic signal of interest is received via the submerged CZ propagation path.
TNS may be exploited in areas where the distant shipping noise is bottom limited, but a
below-layer source is not bottom limited, resulting in an increased signal-to-noise ratio.
TOPOGRAPHIC SHADING. The disruption of convergence zone (CZ) or deep sound
channel propagation by ocean bottom features such as seamounts, guyots, ridges, or
islands. This disruption causes large shadow zones. Depth excess is destroyed for CZ
propagation when a source is one-half the CZ range from such a bottom feature.
TRANSDUCER. A device for converting electrical energy to underwater sound energy
or vice versa. When sound energy received through the water is converted to electrical
energy, the device is termed a hydrophone; when electrical energy is converted to
sound energy and transmitted into the water, the device is termed a sonar projector or
an echo sounder.
TRANSMISSION LOSS (TL). The reduction in signal intensity (in dB) between a point
1 yard from the sound source and the receiving sensor. Graphically depicted as a
function of range on a computer-generated propagation loss (PL) curve.
TRANSPONDER. An automated acoustic device, capable of transmitting and receiving,
similar to a sonobuoy, that can be activated upon receipt of a sound or radio signal.
TURBIDITY CURRENT. A highly turbid, relatively dense current carrying large
quantities of clay, silt, and sand in suspension which flows down a submarine slope
through less dense water.
TURBULENCE. Fluid flow in which the instantaneous velocities show irregular and
apparently random fluctuations. These are often caused by obstructions (such as rough
bottoms or eddies) to the fluid flow.
UPSLOPE ENHANCEMENT. Also known as the inverse megaphone effect. Acoustic
energy from a source in deep water changes from a convergence zone or sound
channel path to a bottom bounce path as the bottom shoals, and is concentrated up the
slope to a receiver in shallow water. Also, see DOWNSLOPE ENHANCEMENT.

132

VDS. Variable Depth Sonar. A shipborne sonar system in which the transducer can be
lowered below the thermocline.
VERTEX DEPTH. The depth in the water at which a refracted sound ray becomes
horizontal.
VERTEX SOUND SPEED. The speed at which a refracted sound ray becomes
horizontal.
VLAD. Vertical Line Array DIFAR. Advanced DIFAR buoy using a vertical line array of
hydrophones to discriminate against ambient noise.
WAVELENGTH, SOUND. The distance between corresponding points of adjacent
sound waves; measurement is determined by the ratio of speed to frequency.
WMO. World Meteorological Organization.
XBT. Expendable BathyThermograph. Bathythermograph launched from a ship
(SXBT), submarine (SSXBT), or aircraft (AXBT). Fleet XBTs can record water
temperature versus depth down to 2,500 feet.

133

Appendix B
Sound Levels

B.1 Sound Intensity and Pressure


Sound intensity is a measure of the sound power (energy per second) crossing a
unit area normal to the direction of wave propagation. In a plane wave the
instantaneous acoustic intensity is related to the instantaneous acoustic pressure by:
I = P2
c
where (in the MKS system)
I = intensity of sound (in joules/m2s or watts/m2),
P = rms sound pressure (in newton/m2 = pascals),
= density (in kg/m3), and
c = sound speed (in m/s).
Underwater sound pressure and intensities are measured with pressure-sensitive
hydrophones with voltage outputs proportional to sound pressure.
B.2 Sound Intensity in Decibels
The decibel (dB), one tenth of a bel, is used by the scientific and engineering
communities to express the wide range of sound pressure fluctuations, performance
parameters, and power ratios encountered in transmitting and sensing equipment. The
decibel is defined as 10 times the logarithm of the ratio of the two powers. In acoustics:

I1 (dB//Intensity Unit) = 10 Log

I1 (Intensity Units)
________________
1 (Intensity Unit)

Since intensity is proportional to the square of sound pressure, sound pressure levels
are expressed in decibels as follows:

P1 (dB//Pressure Unit) = 10 Log

P1 (Pressure Units)2
_________________
1 (Pressure Unit)2

134

P1 (dB//Pressure Unit) = 20 Log

P1 (Pressure Units)
_________________
1 (Pressure Unit)

In underwater sound, the basic unit of intensity historically has been the intensity
of a plane wave having a root mean square (rms) pressure equal to 1 dyne/cm2.
Recently the micropascal (Pa), equal to 10-5 dyne per square centimeter, has been
accepted as the reference-standard pressure for underwater sound measurements. For
example, if a pressure level of 5,000 Pa were measured, it would be expressed as 20
log 5,000 or 74 dB//Pa. Reference pressure levels other than the Pa have been used
in acoustics. Some of these sound-pressure levels and the corresponding conversion
factors to convert to dB//Pa are indicated in table B-1.
Table B-1. Sound-Pressure Level Conversion Factors.
Sound Pressure
Reference Level
bar

To Convert to
dB// Pa Add
100

dyne/cm2

100
2

.0002 dyne/cm

26

Example: 22 dB// bar = 122 dB//Pa


96 dB//.0002 dyne/cm2 = 122 dB//Pa
When a ratio of pure numbers such as array gain (G), propagation loss (PL)
between two points in the ocean, signal excess (SE), or recognition differential (RD) is
expressed in decibels, the appropriate level (L) is
L (dB) = 10 Log (L1 /L2 )
Decibels are based on a logarithmic scale; thus, ten times the logarithm of the
product of two terms (each of which has been expressed in dB) is the sum of their dB
levels. In a similar manner, when a term is to be divided by another term, subtraction of
their dB levels is used. (See section B.2.2, Laws of Logarithms.)
I1 (Pa) x g (Dimensionless) = l2 (Pa)
log l1 + log g = log l2
20 log l1 + 20 log g = 20 log l2
Let L1 = 20 log l1, G = 20 log g, L2 = 20 log l2

135

then L1 + G = L2
L1 (dB//Pa) + G(dB) = L2 (dB//Pa)
L1 (Pa)
PL (Dimensionless)

= L2 (Pa)

L1 (dB//Pa) - PL(dB) = L2 (dB//Pa)


Note the following explanation for the two previous equations B8:
l = lowercase L
1 = numeral one
Some of the properties of the decibel are illustrated by converting several ratios
into their dB equivalents, as in table B-2; for example, increasing a power of 10 watts by
a factor of two is equivalent to adding 3 dB to its initial dB level. Notice particularly that
0 dB represents a factor of unity, that is, the ratio of observed sound to the reference
unit is one to one. It does not indicate the absence of sound. Decimal numbers
between unity and zero have negative dB numbers.
Table B-2. Common Decibel Equivalents.
Numerical Ratio (R)
1000.0

dB (10 Log R)
30.0

100.0

20.0

10.0

10.0

5.0

7.0

3.0

4.8

2.0

3.0

1.0

0.0

0.7

-1.6

0.5

-3.0

0.01

-20.0

0.001

-30.0

136

B.2.1 Derivation of the Passive Sonar Equation


Definition of detectability:
D = detectability,

D = SO
SD
SO = observed signal-to-noise ratio (SNR),

SD = designed SNR

From the definition of SO :

SO = IS
IN
IS = signal intensity, IN = noise intensity
By substitution:

D = IS
IN

1
SD

The relationship between the signal intensity and the output intensity of the target is
IS = IO
L
IO = target output intensity, L = propagation loss factor
By substitution:

D = IO
L

1
IN

1
SD

Introducing a reference intensity ( IR ) and rearranging terms


D = IO
IR

IR
IN

1
L

1
SD

This is the passive sonar equation. Taking 10 log of both sides of this equation yields
the more familiar equation (in dB units):
SE = SL NL PL RD
where
10 log (D) = SE = Signal Excess

10 log (IO/IR) = SL = Source Level

10 log (IN/IR) = NL = Noise Level

10 log (L) = PL = Propagation Loss

10 log (SD) = RD = Recognition Differential


B.2.2 Laws of Logarithms
1. Product Rule: log (ab) = log (a) + log (b) [Log of product = sum of logs.]
2. Quotient Rule: log (a/b) = log (a) log (b) [Log of quotient = difference of
logs.]

137

3. Power Rule: log (an ) = n log (a)


B.2.3 Power Summing
When two noise sources (expressed in dB) are to be combined, use the following
steps:
1. convert the values to their original units (intensity units, like Pa2/c),
2. add the two noise values in their original units, then
3. compute 10 times the log of the sum; the answer will be in dBs.
For example, suppose we have two noise sources with intensities IA and IB, where
a = noise intensity 1 = IA/IR,

b = noise intensity 2 = IB/IR,

IR = reference intensity

c = total noise intensity = (IA + IB)/IR


A = noise level 1 = 10 log (a), B = noise level 2 = 10 log (b)
C = total noise level (what were trying to find)
Now, since a = 10A/10, and b = 10B/10, c = a + b = 10A/10 + 10B/10 = 10A/10 (1 + 10-(A-B)/10)
So, C = 10 log(c) = A + 10 log (1 + 10-(A-B)/10).
Now, assume A is greater than or equal to B (A B), and therefore x = A B 0, and
C = A + 10 log (1 + 10-x/10)
This last equation shows that the total noise level is equal to the greater of the two noise
levels plus a correction which is a function of the difference between the two levels.
(Note: In this derivation, a, b, and c are dimensionless, while A, B, and C are in dBs.)
For example, suppose a noise level of 22 dB//Pa is to be added to another noise level
of 25 dB//Pa. The combined level is:
10 Log 1022/10 + 1025/10 = 26.8 dB

Symbolically, 22 dB + 25 dB = 26.8 dB,


where, + = Power Sum.

138

Figure B-1. Nomogram for Combining Spectrum Levels.


If desired, this arithmetic operation can be avoided by using the graph in figure
B-1. Repeating the previous example, apply the difference of 3 dB to the curve and add
the resultant 1.8 dB to the higher level to obtain 26.8 dB.
B.2.4 System Performance. The performance of a sonar system is frequently
evaluated by comparing it to a sonar equation, discussed in greater detail in chapters 8
and 9. One form of the sonar equation is stated as:
SE = SL - NL + DI - RD - PL
The first term, signal excess (SE), is a measure of the ability of a sonar to detect
a target. As shown in this equation, SE is equally sensitive to a change in any of the
sonar parameters indicated on the right-hand side of the equation. That is, doubling the
target-radiated noise SL (which is equivalent to raising its levels by 3 dB) has the same
effect on detection capability as halving noise, NL, and decreasing it by 3 dB. An
understanding of this equation assists the sonar designer, sonar operator, and ASW
tactician in obtaining optimum performance inasmuch as some of these parameters are
easier to control than others.
B.2.5 Sonar Sound-Pressure Levels. A high-frequency sonar can require a source
level increase of 27 dB (a 500-fold power increase) to double its range. Raising a
sonar's source level from 100 dB to 127 dB would double its range; hence, 500 times
more power would be required to produce that level of sound energy.

139

Decibels are also applicable to receiver sensitivity in sonar, radar, and radio. A
receiver with a sensitivity of -117 dB is 3 dB better (or can detect a 50-percent weaker
signal) than a receiver with a sensitivity of -114 dB. The larger the minus number of
decibels, the better the receiver sensitivity. It is to be noted, additionally, that a 3-dB
loss in receiver sensitivity is as bad as a 3-dB loss in transmitted signal level.
Maintaining a sonar receiver's sensitivity is just as important as maintaining the
prescribed transmit-power level. The decibels gained through "noise" reduction provide
the same increase in performance as an equal increase in source level.
B.2.6 Sound-Pressure Levels of Common Noises. The decibel was originally used as
an arbitrary unit based on the faintest sound a person could hear. The dB scale is
logarithmic, so that an increase of 10 dB means a tenfold increase of sound intensity: a
20-dB rise indicates a hundredfold increase; and a 30-dB increase indicates a
thousandfold increase in sound intensity. Sound-pressure levels of some common
noises, expressed in micropascal (Pa), and in decibels relative to a micropascal (dB//
Pa), are tabulated in table B-3.
Table B-3. Sound-Pressure Levels of Common Noises.
Sound Pressure Level
Jet plane at 100 ft

Pa
200,000,000

dB//Pa
166

Pneumatic riveter

63,000,000

156

Rock music with amplifiers at 4 to 6 ft

20,000,000

146

2,000,000

126

200,000

106

63,000

96

6,300

76

630

56

Rustling leaves

63

36

Faintest audible sound

20

26

Noise

Loud automobile horn at 23 ft


Very heavy traffic (New York City)
Loud peal of thunder
Conversational voice at 12 ft
Quiet suburban street

140

B.3 Spectrum Levels and Band Levels


Most measurements of broadband noise in sonar are made in frequency bands
that are hundreds or even thousands of Hertz (Hz) wide. For many applications, it is
necessary to reduce these broadband measurements to an equivalent level in a band of
1 Hz within the measurement band. These 1-Hz values, spectrum levels of
L(SPECTRUM), refer to the average level of that part of a signal contained within a
1-Hz bandwidth, centered at the particular frequency. A conversion factor can be
applied to the band level, L(BAND LEVEL), measurements to obtain the spectrum level
within the band. This conversion factor is a number, in decibels, that is equal to 10 log
of the measured bandwidth. Thus,
L(SPECTRUM) = L(BAND LEVEL) 10 LOG BW
This reduction process is valid for continuous white noise having a flat
spectrum. It is also valid for a noise having a continuous spectrum falling off at the rate
of 6 dB per octave if the center frequency of the band is taken to be its geometric
mean frequency (GMF).
The GMF of the band is given as:
GMF =

(f1 x f2 )1/2

where f1 and f2 are the upper and lower frequency limits of the band.
A 6 dB-per-octave slope is typical of ambient sea noise, ownship background
noise (at low speeds), and target-radiated noise at frequencies above a few hundred
Hz.
B.3.1 Bandwidth Conversion Nomogram. A bandwidth conversion nomogram (figure
B-2) is presented for determining (a) the correction factor needed for a passband
conversion and (b) the bandwidth conversion factor readouts for one octave, one-half
octave, one-third octave, and one-tenth octave bandwidths, respectively.
In figure B-2, the upper line is used to determine the quantity (10 log bandwidth)
for bands up to 10 kHz in width. For example, if a conversion factor is required for a
passbandwidth of 50 Hz, a correction of 17 dB is derived from the top line labeled
Bandwidth. This conversion can then be applied to the specified 50-Hz band levels.

141

Figure B-2. Bandwidth Conversion Curves.


The four lower lines are used to determine the bandwidth correction factor of a
proportional band. After locating the GMF of the particular band on the frequency scale
and determining the point where the frequency line intercepts the appropriate band
curve, the correction factor can be read directly from the dB scale to the left. For
example, to compute the spectrum level at 1,000 Hz, having been given the half-octave
band level of 50.4 dB, we find from figure B-2 that the conversion for a half-octave band
at 1,000 Hz is 25.4 dB. Thus, the computed spectrum level at this frequency is 50.4
25.4 = 25.0 dB.
These corrective factors apply to noises typical of ambient sea noise, own ship
background noise (at low speeds), and lower frequency (for example, several hundred
Hertz) target-radiated noise. These factors do not apply to noise that has a slope
greater than 6 dB per octave.
B.3.2 Bandwidth. The width of a proportional band can be described as a percentage
of the center frequency; these percentages are shown for three kinds of bands in table
B-4, together with the spectrum-level conversions for convenient center frequencies
found in commonly used filters.

142

This table means, for example, that the width of a half-octave band centered at 1,000
Hz is 348 Hz (that is, 34.8% x 1,000 Hz and that conversion is 25.4 dB).
Table B-4. Bandwidths as Percentages and Selected Conversions.
Width
Octave
%
1
70.7
1/2
34.8
1/3
23.1

100 Hz
18.5
15.4
13.6

Conversion in dB
106 Hz
125 Hz
1,000 Hz
18.7
19.5
28.5
15.7
16.4
25.4
13.9
14.6
23.6

1,700 Hz
30.8
27.7
25.9

B.3.3 Discrete Frequencies. The conversion process is valid only if (a) the band level
contains no strong discrete frequencies and (b) the noise is basically continuous, as
shown in figure B-3. Large energy peaks in discrete frequency regions, as shown in
figure B-4, will yield spectrum levels lower than the level of the line component of the
spectrum.

Figure B-3. Ideal Continuous Noise.

143

Figure B-4. Noise Containing Discrete Frequencies.

144

Appendix C
Optical Oceanography

C.1 Introduction
Even in the clearest ocean water, light transmission is attenuated many times
more than sound transmission. Underwater light travels only a few hundred meters,
while sound can travel around the world. In severe cases, water turbidity may even
prevent a diver from seeing his hand against his face plate. In air the transmission of
light is considerably better than the transmission of light in water because the air is 800
times less dense than water. However, the physics of light and sound transmission in
air and underwater are very similar.
Light is a form of electromagnetic energy that is selectively absorbed in water
according to its color or wavelength. Clear oceanic water has the greatest transmission
and least attenuation in the blue-green region of the spectrum. Even at this color, light
intensity is reduced 4 percent for every meter traveled. When moving from clear oceanic
water to the more turbid near-shore water, contaminants from offshore runoff absorb
more in the longer blue-green wavelengths and shift the region of maximum light
transmission toward the yellow-green wavelengths. This absorption of blue light is
caused by multiple particle scattering in turbid waters nearshore. Blue light travels great
distances during the scattering process and is absorbed.
Light is attenuated in water by two means: absorption, which converts light
energy to heat, and scattering, which merely deflects the light to a different direction. In
both cases, light formed from an image will be attenuated as it travels through the
water. In fact, scattered background light may enter the images path and adversely
affect the image contrast with its background. Scattered light can blur the fine detail of
an image and can even obliterate an image altogether. Scattering is one of the most
formidable problems in underwater visibility, regardless of viewing media such as
photography, video camera, satellite, or human eye.
NAVOCEANO has a mathematical model called "Visibility Evaluation of
Underwater Systems" (VEUWS). VEUWS, given the optical parameters of the light
source, target, and water, can predict the visibility for large targets.
The optical properties of the ocean vary greatly in space and time. Images from
satellites show this variability on a large scale. However, on a small scale, nearshore
water clarity can vary greatly. For example, clarity can vary spatially on either side of a
gyre, front, or river plume and can vary in time on tidal cycles, hours, or days. Water
clarity is also weather related. Severe weather with high winds causes waves and
currents to mix the ocean and thereby reduce water clarity. The clearest waters are
found after the ocean has been calm for at least a few days. Plankton blooms and
schools of fish can also reduce water clarity.

145

C.2 Sources of Light


Sources of light in the ocean can be divided into categories, natural and artificial.
Natural sources of light, including the sun, moon, and stars, are incident on the surface
and propagate down to depth with diminished intensity. Also, light can be generated by
organisms within the sea, and the light they produce is called bioluminescence.
Bioluminescence varies greatly with location. Its intensity ranges from near zero to as
bright as a full moon on a clear night.
Table C-1 summarizes several light sources at sea level. The effects of light
attenuation in the atmosphere have been excluded. Figure C-1 summarizes the
distribution of solar radiation as a function of wavelength.
Table C-1. Ground-Level Illumination from Several Common Sources.
GROUND-LEVEL
ILLUMINATION (1m/m2)
5
1 x 10
4
2 x 10
3
2 x 10
-1
3 x 10
-1
1 x 10
-2
3 x 10
-2
3 x 10
-3
1 x 10
-4
2 x 10

SOURCE
Sun-clear sky
Sun-cloudy bright
Sun-heavy overcast
Full moon-clear sky
Twilight-sunset
Full moon-overcast
Quarter moon-clear sky
Clear sky-no moon
Starlight

Figure C-1. Standard Relative Luminosity, or Visibility, Curve and Luminous Efficiency.

146

C.3 Air-Water Interface


Light incident on the water surface will obey Snell's Law. In a similar way sound
is refracted and reflected at an interface of density discontinuities in the ocean. Light,
however, pronouncedly polarizes during the process. A detailed discussion of
polarization will not be given, but the fact that it happens is important. The reflected
light can be considered as a vector with two components: one component
perpendicular and the other parallel to its path. The degree of polarization depends on
incident angle. At an angle of 53 degrees, the reflected light will be completely
polarized. The effect of polarization is the reason why polarized sunglasses increase
visibility through the water interface so well. The glasses block the one vector
component of reflected light and thus cut the glare considerably. Figure C-2 is a
graphic representation of Snell's Law. Lower case "n" is the index of refraction. The
angle phi is the angle of refraction and reflection. The angular dependence of refraction
and reflection is shown in figures C-3 and C-4, respectively.
n1 sin 1 = n2 sin 2

r=

r + r "
2

(Snell's Law)
An important phenomenon shown by Snell's Law occurs at the critical angle of
48.6 degrees. At this angle and greater, all incident light is reflected and no light is
refracted into the water. The converse is true for light underwater incident on the
surface from below. This phenomenon is the reason why it is possible to see through
the surface into the water in only a small circle around an observer sitting in a boat and
also is the reason why standing up increases the viewing area so greatly.
C.4 Attenuation of Light
Light is attenuated by two independent physical processes, absorption and
scattering. Absorption is the process by which light is absorbed into the water and its
energy is transformed into heat. Scattering is the process of light changing direction
after it hits a molecule of water (Rayleigh scattering) or a particle suspended in the
water (Mie scattering). Artificial light is attenuated in water by the following formula:
- r

E(r)=E(o)e

-1

= E(o)e / L , where

L = -1/

Alpha () is the volume attenuation coefficient, (units of 1/m)


E(r)
is the light intensity left at distance r
E(o)
is the light intensity at the source r = 0
e
is the base of the natural logarithm 2.718
L
is the attenuation length (in meters)

147

Light is reduced by approximately 37 percent of its original intensity for each attenuation
length traveled.
Alpha (), the volume attenuation coefficient for artificial light, assumes there is single or
no scattering. The formula is
= a+b

Figure C-2. Reflection and Refraction of a Linearly Polarized Light Wave with its
Electric Vector Parallel to the Plane of Incidence.
where "a" is the volume absorption coefficient and "b" is the volume scattering
coefficient.
Both of these coefficients depend on wavelength. Scattering depends on
geometry and scatters in all directions. Forward backscattering reduces visibility
greatly. Scattering also polarizes light as well as reflection but will not be discussed
here. Figures C-5 and C-6 summarize light attenuation in the sea.
Both "a" and "b" are functions of wavelength. Note that blue light scatters the
most but is absorbed the least, and red conversely scatters the least but is absorbed the
most. This phenomenon is the reason why a clear sky or ocean appears blue.

148

C.5 Sunlight in Water


Sunlight is the major source of light in the ocean. It consists of direct sunlight
and indirect sunlight scattered through the atmosphere. This light enters the water and
is multiply scattered as it penetrates to depth. It becomes so diffuse with depth that its
intensity is dependent only on the zenith angle; increasing depth merely provides a
constant light from all directions.

Figure C-3. Reflectance as a Function of Angle of Incidence.

149

Figure C-4. Angle of Incidence and Fraction of Light Refracted into Water
as a Function of 2.

Figure C-5. Volume-Attenuation Coefficient of Typical Estuary, Coastal, and Clear


Oceanic Water Compared with that of Distilled Water.

150

Much more light will exist at depth than that predicted by using the volume
attenuation coefficient alpha (). The diffuse extinction coefficient "k" is used instead of
"a" to predict ambient light intensity. Ambient light is attenuated in the sea using this
formula:
Ed(z) = E(o) e

-k(z)

Ed(z) = light intensity at depth z


E(o) = light intensity at the surface, z = o
k=a+B
where "k" is the diffuse attenuation coefficient. "a" is the absorption coefficient and is
the same for artificial light. However, "B" is the scattering coefficient for multiply
scattered light where "b" for artificial light assumed little or single scattering. "k" is
smaller than alpha () by 1/2 to 1/3. Figure C-7 shows the value of "k" for different
natural light sources.
C.6 Instrumentation
In situ measurements of light in the sea can be made with special optical
instruments, satellites, and the common Secchi Disc. Accurate measurements of the
attenuation coefficient alpha are made using a transmissometer. The diffuse
attenuation coefficient "k" is more commonly measured using an illuminometer,
satellites, or Secchi Disc. The transmissometer and illuminometer are precision optical
instruments. The satellite and Secchi Disc are ballpark estimates of "k" but are spatially
and seasonally published in atlases.

Figure C-6. Volume-Attenuation Coefficient and Attenuation Length L


in the Visible Spectrum for Distilled Water.
151

Figure C-7. Approximate Illumination as a Function of Depth for


Several Natural Light Sources.
(Clear oceanic water is assumed with a diffuse attenuation constant k of about 0.05 m-1
for the solid curves. Coastal water with k=0.15 m1 is assumed for the dashed curve,
and maximum-clarity water with k=0.034 m-1 is assumed for the dot-dashed curve.)
Transmissometers measure transmittance, the light intensity attenuated in a
1-meter path expressed as a ratio of the light transmitted E(o) to the light received E(r)
in percent:
T% =

E (r)
E (o)

=e

-r

, and = -ln 1/T = lnT

T% = transmittance
E(r) = light intensity received, r = 1m
E(o) = light intensity transmitted r = 0

= volume attenuation coefficient, alpha (1/m)


For example, T = 75%, then = - ln 1/T = ln T = ln (0.75) = 0.288(-m)
Illuminometers measure the attenuation of ambient light as a function of depth by
using a ratio of the light intensity incident on the surface E(z1) to the light intensity at
depth E(z2):

152

E(z2)

E(z)
-k(z - z )
= e 1 2 if z1 = 0,

=e

E(z1)

-kz

E(o)

or
E(z)
k = -ln

E(o)
= ln

E(o)

E(z)

E(z1) = the light intensity at depth z1 (in meters).


E(z2) = the light intensity at depth z2 (in meters).
Note the following explanation for the above equations:
l = lowercase L
1 = numeral one
C.7 Underwater Visibility
Even the underwater visibility of large targets, where fine detail is not considered
important, is still not an easy prediction. Natural light tends to be so diffuse it does not
cast strong shadows. Multiply scattered light from particles in the image transmission
path is superimposed on the image, and the image itself is degraded by refractive
discontinuities in the transmission path. Underwater visibility can be a complex subject
that depends on wavelength, geometry, reflection and refraction, optical properties of
the water, light source, detector, and contrast. The following discussion is greatly
simplified and intended to provide ballpark estimates on visibility.
Once image-forming light reaches a detector, there is no guarantee the target will
be visible. A white target against a white background is not necessarily visible. Color
plays an important role in the visibility of a target. For example, an olive-green mine on
an olive-green mud bottom will be hard to see. Conversely, an olive-green mine on a
white sand bottom will be easy to see. The longest range of visibility is for a white
target against a black background or vice versa. The contrast of the target to its
background is used to determine if a target is visible. Contrast is defined as
Bt(r) - Bb(r)
C=
Bb(r)

153

r
C
Bt

= path distance
= contrast
= target radiance

Bb = background radiance
Bp = path radiance
Bt(r) = e-r(Bt(o)+Bp(r))
Bb(r) = e-k(Z-B)
Bp(r) = path radiance at the target
Note: If Bb(r) is greater than Bt(r), the contrast is negative.
Figure C-8 shows the geometry and terms used in computing contrast. Inherent
parameters are independent of the light intensity in the water. Apparent parameters
depend on light intensity in the water.
Rough estimates of alpha () can be made by estimating the distance two darksuited divers mutually disappear horizontally. This range is approximately 4/ -m = 4L
or = 4/r and is independent of "k" in this case.
The image radiance Bt(o) and path radiance Bp(r) are both attenuated using the
volume attenuation coefficient, alpha, between the target and the detector at a distance
(r) through the water. However, the background radiance at the target Bb(o) is
attenuated by the diffuse attenuation coefficient "k." Bt(r) is a function of the distance (r)
and angle . Bb(r) is a function of the depths of the target and detector, and their
geometry. Figures C-9 and C-10 give examples of contrast or visibility for black and
white targets. For the human eye, the threshold of visibility has a contrast of
approximately 0.02, depending on the individual. Other detectors, such as films and
video cameras, have to be considered separately. Each has its own contrast threshold.
Low-light-level video cameras have excellent light sensitivity even in the low-light-level
equivalent to starlight.
The greatest range of visibility for a white target is looking down into the dark
depths (+ contrast), and the least range of visibility for a white target is looking
horizontally against the ambient light field. When looking up at a white target from
depth, the target looks black from a distance and is indistinguishable from a black
target. However, the target will be visible because of its negative contrast, even though
no image-forming light is reaching the detector.

154

The greatest range of visibility for a black target is viewed looking up from depth.
Again, no image-forming light is reaching the detector. The target is seen by virtue of its
contrast only. The poorest visibility is viewed looking down against the dark depths.
Black targets are black because they absorb all light incident on them, regardless of
color. A colored target absorbs all the incident light except the colors reflected.
C.8 References for Appendix C
1. Mertins, Lawrence E., In-Water Photography (Theory and Practice), John Wiley and
Sons Publishers, New York, NY, 1970.

Figure C-8. Geometry and Terms Used in Computing Apparent Target Contrast.

155

Figure C-9. Contrast as a Function of Viewing Distance for Black-and-White Objects


When Viewed Downward, Upward, and Horizontally against
Ambient Background Radiance.
(Background radiance is assumed to have reached its asymptotic distribution, and
-1
=0.39 and k=0.18 m . Contrast is positive for white object ( = /2 and = ). All
other contrasts are negative.)

156

Figure C-10. Apparent Contrast of Black Marks on Diffuse White Target When Viewed
from Different Directions.

157

Appendix D
Bioluminescence

D.1 Bioluminescent Marine Organisms


Bioluminescence is the emission of light by living organisms. The color of the light is
usually blue-green and corresponds to those wavelengths which are transmitted farthest
through seawater. The intensity of the light is a function of organism type and abundance.
This community of organisms includes both plants (phytoplankton) and animals (zooplankton);
their limited mobility allows them to be passively transported by currents.
The following organisms can occur in concentrations to be of concern to Naval
operations: (1) microscopic phytoplankton called dinoflagellates which generate sheet-type
displays. This is a uniform glow which may cover large areas, small patches, or wide ribbons.
(2) Crustaceans, such as copepods and euphausiids. These organisms create spark-type
displays consisting of distinct points of light which are particularly conspicuous in the wake of
a ship, along the hull line, or in agitated waters. (3) Larger plankton, such as jellyfish,
ctenophores, and salps. These organisms produce globular displays of light of various
diameters which may be very bright. These displays may glow for extended periods of time
and are most common in warmer waters.
Bioluminescent displays usually occur as a combination of two types, or occasionally,
all three types may be seen at the same time. Frequently the boundaries between
luminescent and dark water are sharp, and displays may be concentrated in streaks or bands
parallel to wind or current flow. In some regions, spectacular displays such as
"phosphorescent wheels," "erupting balls," and "milky seas" have been reported. These
"wheels" consist of alternating light and dark bands which rotate around a central hub.
"Erupting balls" are described as small balls of luminescence which appear below the surface
and then rise to the surface, where they spread into large patches. "Milky seas" are described
as large areas of white, blue, or green luminescence which appear to glow continuously,
without agitation. These displays are rare but have been reported most frequently in the
Arabian Sea region.
D.2 Variability
Bioluminescence can be found in all regions of the oceans and at all depths. It is most
prevalent in coastal waters, in frontal zones, and near river outflows. Changes in
bioluminescent intensity result from vertical, diurnal, seasonal, and regional variations in
plankton abundance. This variability is a consequence of the interaction of light, temperature,
stability and mixing rate of the watermass, plant nutrients, and predator abundance. Over the
course of 24 hours, the intensity normally changes several orders of magnitude.

158

Through each season, bioluminescence is expected to be higher in coastal waters


relative to open ocean. Marshlands are breeding grounds for crustaceans, and the potential
for bioluminescent activity may increase dramatically in adjacent coastal areas. River runoff,
agricultural runoff, warm-water effluents, and sewage outfall near coastal cities provide
conditions which may be favorable for the rapid development of large concentrations of
luminous dinoflagellates. These blooms may follow rain or strong winds within a week or two.
Large concentrations of dinoflagellates may discolor the water red, orange, yellow, green, or
brown during the day. Discolored water often indicates increased nighttime bioluminescence
activity.
D.3 Displays
Displays can originate at or below the sea surface and are the result of mechanical
stimulation of bioluminescent organisms. Bioluminescence-detected Naval assets include
surface vessels, submarines, SEAL delivery vehicles, and swimmers. Moored mines could
also create a luminous signature when plankton are stimulated by swell or current-induced
turbulence around a stationary object.
D.4 Detection
Detection by bioluminescent signatures is a nighttime threat and should be of concern
from about one hour after sunset until sunrise. Most bioluminescent organisms which occur in
high enough concentrations for detection of Naval platforms will be in the upper 200 feet (60
meters) of the water column. Any object moving through the water at night can create a
luminous trail that can potentially be detected with devices ranging from the naked eye to offthe-shelf low-light level cameras. Detection depends on the intensity of the bioluminescence
and the optical clarity of the water through which the light passes to the surface.
Potential for detection by bioluminescence is expected to be greater in the coastal
areas. Water clarity will decrease and partially attenuate the increased bioluminescence
signal; however, operations are limited to near-surface waters, and detection is probable.
Operations during twilight hours would mask luminous trails. If nighttime operations are
required, avoidance of areas near river mouths, lagoon/marsh systems, and developed areas
is recommended. If a swimmer observes bioluminescence as he moves through the water,
detection is possible.
D.5 Intensity
The intensity of bioluminescence is less in the open ocean than nearshore; however,
open-ocean water is more clear, and the light will propagate to greater distances.
Bioluminescence intensity may change dramatically near frontal regions and tends to be
higher on the colder side of frontal zones. In some areas, maximum values of
bioluminescence are often at or below the seasonal thermocline.

159

Appendix E
Tactical Oceanography Reference Packet

E.1 Introduction
The following packet of diagrams and listings has been organized to provide a
convenient location for information which may be used in developing and presenting
tactical oceanography topics. The data may be applied to training scenarios and can
serve as a hard-copy backup for periods of computer unavailability. Contents include
graphs, tables, and charts illustrating environmental values related to frequencies and
locations.
Worksheets, summary forms, acoustic model guidance, and environmental
monitoring recommendations all provide forms that may be used on a daily basis.

160

Tactical Oceanography Reference Packet


Contents

Ambient Noise Value Guide Worldwide Shipping Densities .......................... 162


Ambient Noise Value Guide AN Level vs. Frequency.................................... 163
Rain Level Spectra in Spectrum Level.............................................................. 164
Sea State Spectra in Spectrum Level (10 Hz - 1,000 Hz)................................. 165
Sea State Spectra in Spectrum Level (1,250 Hz - 100,000 Hz)........................ 166
Shipping Level Spectra in Spectrum Level (10 Hz - 700 Hz)............................ 167
Ocean Turbulence Spectra/Molecular Agitation Spectra .................................. 168
Bandwidth Conversion Curves ......................................................................... 169
Surface Duct Cutoff Frequency Graph ............................................................. 170
Sound Channel Low-Frequency Cutoff Graph.................................................. 171
Probability of Detection (Signal Excess)........................................................... 172
Standard Deviation of FOM (Sigma)................................................................. 173
Probability of Convergence Zone (CZ) Occurrence (%) ................................... 174
Ambient Limited Speed (ALS)/Breakpoint Speed (BPS) .................................. 175
Ambient Noise, Self Noise, and Total Background Noise as a Function
of Own Ships Speed ........................................................................................ 176
Omnidirectional FOM Worksheet...................................................................... 177
Beam-forming FOM Worksheet ....................................................................... 178
Tactical Oceanography Summary (Page 1 of 4)............................................... 179
Tactical Oceanography Summary (Page 2 of 4)............................................... 180
Tactical Oceanography Summary (Page 3 of 4)............................................... 181
Tactical Oceanography Summary (Page 4 of 4)............................................... 182
Representative Prediction Frequencies - World Ocean/Sea Salinity Values .... 183
Passive Acoustic Model Guidance ................................................................... 184
Environmental Awareness................................................................................ 185
Useful Formulas and Definitions....................................................................... 186

161

Ambient Noise Value Guide

Worldwide Shipping Density

162

Ambient Noise Value Guide


Ambient Noise Level Versus Frequency

163

Rain Level Spectra in Spectrum Level


Frequency
(Hz)

600
630
700
800
900
1000
1250
1500
1600
2000
2500
3000
3150
4000
5000
6000
6300
7000
8000
9000
10000
12500
15000

(dB//1 Pa/Hz)

Intermittent

Moderate

Heavy

80
80
79
79
78
78
76
75
75
74
72
71
70
69
67
65
65
64
63
62
61
59
57

81
81
81
81
81
81
80
80
80
80
79
78
78
77
76
75
74
74
73
72
71
69
68

82
82
82
82
82
82
82
82
82
82
82
81
81
81
81
80
80
80
79
79
78
77
75

164

Frequency
(Hz)
10
12.5
15
16
20
25
30
31.5
40
50
60
63
70
80
90
100
125
150
160
200
250
300
315
400
500
600
630
700
800
900
1,000

Sea State Spectra in Spectrum Level


(dB//1 Pa/Hz)

51
51
51
51
51
51
51
51
51
51
51
51
51
51
51
51
51
51
51
51
50
50
50
49
48
48
47
47
46
45
45

58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
58
57
57
57
57
57
57
56
55
55
55
54
54
53
53

62
62
62
62
62
62
62
62
62
62
62
62
62
62
62
62
62
62
62
62
62
62
62
61
61
61
61
60
60
59
59

65
65
65
65
65
65
65
65
65
65
65
65
65
65
65
65
65
65
65
65
65
65
65
65
64
64
64
64
63
63
62

67
67
67
67
67
67
67
67
67
67
67
67
67
67
67
67
67
67
67
67
67
67
67
67
66
66
66
66
65
65
65

68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
68
67
67
67

71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
71
70
70
70
70
69

165

Frequency
(Hz)
1250
1500
1600
2000
2500
3000
3150
4000
5000
6000
6300
7000
8000
9000
10000
12500
15000
16000
20000
25000
30000
31500
40000
50000
60000
63000
70000
80000
90000
100000

Sea State Spectra in Spectrum Level


0

43
42
42
40
38
37
36
34
33
31
31
30
29
28
27
25
24
23
22
20
19
18
16
14
13
13
12
11
10
9

52
51
50
49
47
46
46
44
42
41
40
39
38
37
36
35
33
33
31
29
28
27
26
24
22
22
21
20
19
18

(dB//1 Pa/Hz)

58
57
56
55
54
52
52
50
48
47
46
46
45
44
43
41
40
39
37
36
34
34
32
30
29
28
27
26
26
25

62
61
60
59
57
56
56
54
52
51
50
49
48
47
47
45
43
43
41
39
38
37
36
34
33
32
31
30
29
28

64
63
63
61
60
58
58
56
54
53
53
52
51
50
49
47
46
45
44
42
40
40
38
36
35
34
34
33
32
31

66
65
65
63
62
60
60
58
56
55
55
54
53
52
51
49
48
47
45
44
42
42
40
38
37
37
36
35
34
33

69
68
67
66
64
63
63
61
59
58
57
56
55
54
53
52
50
50
58
46
45
44
43
41
40
39
39
38
37
36

166

Shipping Level Spectra in Spectrum Level


Frequency
(Hz)

10
13
15
16
20
25
30
32
40
50
60
63
70
80
90
100
125
150
160
200
250
300
315
400
500
600
630
700

Basins
0

N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

57
59
60
60
61
62
62
62
62
61
60
60
59
57
56
55
53
51
51
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

II

61
62
63
64
64
66
66
66
67
67
67
66
65
63
62
60
57
55
54
52
50
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

III

66
68
69
69
70
71
71
72
72
72
72
72
71
69
68
66
62
60
60
57
55
53
53
51
49
N/A
N/A
N/A

IV

71
73
74
74
75
76
77
77
77
77
77
77
76
74
73
71
68
65
64
62
59
57
56
54
53
N/A
N/A
N/A

75
77
77
78
79
80
81
81
82
82
82
81
81
79
78
76
73
70
69
66
63
61
61
59
57
N/A
N/A
N/A

Chokepoints

VI

VII

VIII

IX

79
80
81
81
83
84
85
85
86
86
86
86
85
84
82
81
77
75
74
71
68
65
65
62
60
N/A
N/A
N/A

82
83
85
85
86
87
88
88
89
90
90
90
90
89
87
86
82
79
79
75
72
70
69
66
64
N/A
N/A
N/A

84
85
87
87
88
89
90
90
91
92
90
90
89
87
86
85
82
80
79
77
75
74
74
72
70
69
68
68

88
89
91
91
92
93
94
94
95
96
94
93
93
91
90
89
86
83
83
81
79
78
78
76
74
73
72
72

167

Ocean Turbulence
Spectra
Frequency Spectrum Level
(Hz)
(dB//1 Pa/Hz)

Molecular Agitation
Spectra
Frequency
(Hz)

Spectrum Level
(dB//1 Pa/Hz)

1.0

109

6,000

1.25

105

6,300

1.5

103

7,000

1.6

102

8,000

2.0

99

9,000

2.5

96

10,000

3.0

93

12,500

3.15

92

15,000

4.0

89

16,000

5.0

86

20,000

11

6.0

83

25,000

13

6.3

82

30,000

14

7.0

81

31,500

15

8.0

79

40,000

17

9.0

78

50,000

19

10.0

76

60,000

21

12.5

73

63,000

21

15.0

70

70,000

22

16.0

69

80,000

23

20.0

66

90,000

24

25.0

63

100,000

25

30.0

61

31.5

60

40.0

56

50.0

53

168

Bandwidth Conversion Curves

Frequency (Hz)

Note: Use upper curve when width of pass band is


known; use lower curves if an octave band is specified.

169

170

Sound Channel
Low-Frequency Cutoff Graph

171

Probability of Detection
Signal Excess
(+) Plus
20 18 16 14 12 10

Si
g
m
a
Va
l

Minus (-)
8

10 12 14 16 18 20

6 100 100 99 99 98 95 90 84 74 63

50

37 26 16 10

99

98 97 96 93 89 84 77 69 59

50

41 31 23 16 11

98

97 96 94 91 86 81 74 67 56

50

44 33 26 19 14

10

98 96 95 92 89 84 79 73 66 55

50

45 34 27 21 16 11

11

97 95 93 90 86 82 76 71 65 54

50

46 35 29 24 18 14 10

12

95 93 91 88 84 79 74 69 63 54

50

46 37 31 26 21 16 12

14

92 90 87 84 80 76 71 67 61 54

50

46 39 33 29 24 20 16 13 10 8

To select the appropriate Sigma Value, use the following guidelines:


a. A Sigma of 6, if Ambient Noise measurements
have been made and Submarine Speed and Type
are known.
b. A Sigma of 8, if Ambient Noise is estimated from
forecasts, Submarine Speed is known to within 3
knots, and Type is known.
c. A Sigma of 10, if Ambient Noise is estimated
from forecasts and Submarine Speed and Type
are uncertain.

Probability of CZ Detection ( 8 dB Uncertainty)


Average Signal Excess

Probability of

in the CZ (dB)

CZ Detection (%)

50

55

59

64

69

73

77

80

84

86

10

89

11

91

12

93

13

94

14

96

15

96

16

97

17

97

18

98

19

98

20

99

172

Standard Deviation of FOM


(Sigma)
-25

-20

-15

10 dB
8 dB

6 dB

Signal Excess (dB)

-10

-5

+5

+10

+15

+20
0.2

0.5

10

20

30 40 50 60 70

80

90

95

98 99

Probability of Detection (%)


To select the appropriate Sigma Value, use the following guidelines:
a. A Sigma of 6, if Ambient Noise measurements
have been made and Submarine Speed and Type
are known.
b. A Sigma of 8, if Ambient Noise is estimated from
forecasts, Submarine Speed is known to within 3
knots, and Type is known.
c. A Sigma of 10, if Ambient Noise is estimated
from forecasts and Submarine Speed and Type
are uncertain.

173

Probability of Convergence Zone (CZ)


Occurrence (%)

174

Ambient Limited Speed (ALS)/


Breakpoint Speed (BPS)
LE = Total Background Noise
La = Ambient Noise
Le = Self Noise
LE = La + Le
Ambient Limited Speed (ALS):
- that speed at which LE = La + 1 dB.
This occurs at the speed where
Le = La - 6 dB.
Breakpoint Speed (BPS):
- that speed at which LE = La + 3 dB.
This occurs at the speed where
Le = La.

175

Ambient Noise, Self Noise, and


Total Background Noise
As a Function of Own-Ships Speed

176

177

UNCLASSIFIED
SECRET WHEN FILLED IN

UNCLASSIFIED
SECRET WHEN FILLED IN

178

UNCLASSIFIED
SECRET WHEN FILLED IN
(Page 1 of 4)
DTG (Local Time)____________
FROM:
TO:

Sonar Watch Supervisor


Commanding Officer
Tactical Action Officer

SUBJ:

TACTICAL OCEANOGRAPHY SUMMARY

1.

SITUATION:
Based on INSITU BT at ________________(Local Time)
In Position_______________LAT___________________LON
ASW Prediction Area____________________Location
Sea State__________________

Shipping Density___________________

General/Specific Threat Search__________________________________


Own Ship Speed __________kts
2.

OCEANOGRAPHY:

SD

SST__________F

SC

DSCA__________ft

Target Speed______________kts

SLD__________ft
SSC (Yes/No)

SSC from__________ft to__________ft


SSCA__________ft
CZ

BB

COF__________Hz

Thickness__________ft

Delta C__________ft/sec

COF__________Hz

Depth Excess__________FA

CZ Range__________Kyds

Submerged CZ (Yes/No)

Conjugate Depth__________ft

Bottom Depth__________FA

Topography__________

Bottom Loss Class:


BB Propagation:

High Freq.__________
HF (Good/Marginal/Poor)

LF (Good/Marginal/Poor)

UNCLASSIFIED
SECRET WHEN FILLED IN
179

Low Freq.__________

UNCLASSIFIED
SECRET WHEN FILLED IN
(Page 2 of 4)
3.

PASSIVE ACOUSTIC SPREADSHEET:


Freq. (Hz)/
Source

SL

Sonar/
Processor

FOM/
FDM

S/R
Geometry

Range Predictions
(MDR,BB,CZ,PCZD)

Detection:
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
Counterdetection:
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
4.

ANALYSIS & APPLICATION:

Our Best Sensor_______________ Our Best Search Frequency____________Hz


ALS__________kts

BPS__________kts RSS__________kts

Best Towed-Array Depth__________ft

Best Sonobuoy Depth__________ft

Targets Best Sensor____________

Targets Best Search Frequency__________Hz

Best Listening Depth_________ft

Best Depth to Avoid Detection__________ft

Acoustic Advantage (kyds):


DP:_________________________________________________________________________
CZ:_________________________________________________________________________

UNCLASSIFIED
SECRET WHEN FILLED IN
180

UNCLASSIFIED
SECRET WHEN FILLED IN
(Page 3 of 4)
5. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS IN THE ACTIVE SONAR EMPLOYMENT
DECISION:
SEARCH

MDR (KYDS)

COUNTERDETECTION

MCDR (KYDS)

AN/SQS-53B PD

____________

Passive Acoustic

____________

BD

____________

Ping Intercept

____________

AN/SQS-53C PD

____________

Mean Effective Torp. RNG

____________

BD

____________

ESM

____________

PD

____________

Mean Effective SSM RNG

____________

BD

____________

Imputed Mission

____________

S/S

____________

Periscope Visual

____________

CL

____________

D/D

____________

Active Sonar:

AN/SQS-56

AN/SSQ-62

SEARCH

MDR (KYDS)

SEARCH

MCDR (KYDS)

VISUAL-AIRCRAFT ____________

VISUAL-SHIP

____________

FLIR/IRDS

____________

AN/SPS-10/67

____________

AN/APS-115

____________

AN/SPS-55

____________

AN/APS-124

____________

AN/SPS-64

____________

AN/APS-137

____________

AN/SPQ-9

____________

ESM

____________

MK 92 FCS

____________

Non-Acoustic:

UNCLASSIFIED
SECRET WHEN FILLED IN

181

UNCLASSIFIED
SECRET WHEN FILLED IN
(Page 4 of 4)
5. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS IN THE ACTIVE SONAR EMPLOYMENT
DECISION:
a. Passive Sonar and non-acoustic detection opportunities depend upon the threat submarine,
i.e., she must snorkel or expose a mast.
b. Active Sonar detection opportunities are dependent on the environment.
c. Consider ROE, EMCON, PMI, Imputed Threat Submarine Mission, and sensor opportunities.
In peacetime or times of rising tensions, the threat submarines mission may be to conduct
undetected transit to insert SOF, lay mines, or position for ASUW patrol. At these times, active
Sonar and Radar may not endanger own force and may deter the submarine.
d. In Hot War, within a poor acoustic environment (Zero Layer Depth ZLD), where MDR is
well within the threats Mean Effective Torpedo Range, non-acoustic sensors (primarily airborne
and shipboard Radars) provide the best potential for detection outside the threats weapon
range.
IS PREDICTED ACTIVE MDR WITHIN THE THREAT SUBMARINES EFFECTIVE TORPEDO
RANGE?
e. Consider delaying active search until CUED by shipboard Non-Acoustic, Towed-Array, or
Airborne Sensors.

UNCLASSIFIED
SECRET WHEN FILLED IN
182

Select Prediction Frequencies to represent the Primary


Search Tonals (PST) and Passive Broadband Prediction
Frequencies (PBBPF) from the following table:
PST/PBBPF

Prediction Frequency

10-90
90-200
200-450
450-750
750-1100
1100-1500

50
150
300
600
900
1200

WORLD OCEAN/SEA SALINITY VALUES


Ocean/Sea
Mediterranean Sea
North Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
Indian Ocean
Pacific Ocean
North Pacific Ocean & Marginal Ice Zones
Red Sea
Black Sea
South China Sea
East China Sea
Korea Strait
Yellow Sea
Sea of Japan
Sea of Okhotsk
Kuril Basin
Bering Sea

Salinity (PTS/1000)
38
35
35
35
35
32
39-42
18-22
34
33
33
31.5
34
32.5
32.5
33

183

Passive Acoustic
Model Guidance

184

Environmental Awareness
Any change, of equal or greater value, in
the listed parameters should be followed by a new
Environmental/Acoustic Range Prediction:

Sea State

Any Change

Wind Speed

5 Knots

Sea Surface Temperature

2 F

Sonic Layer Depth (SLD)

50 Ft.

Gradient Below Layer

0.5 F / 100 Ft.

Ambient Noise

2 dB

Water Depth

100 Fathoms

Bottom Province

Any Change

Biologics

Low to High

Own Ships Speed

3 Knots

185

Useful Formulas and Definitions


1. C = F , where C = Speed of Sound, = wavelength, and F = Frequency
2. Snell's Law:

C1
Cos 1

C2

Cos 2

3. Spreading Loss: Cylindrical = 10 log r


Spherical = 20 log r
Dipolar
= 40 log r
4. Geometric Mean Frequency:
where

where C = Speed of Sound


= Angle of Incidence
where r = range

GMF =

f1 x f2

GMF = Geometric Mean Frequency


f1
= Lowest Frequency in Band
f2
= Highest Frequency in Band

5. Signal Excess Form of the Passive Sonar Equation:


SE = SL - PL - NL + DI - RD
where

SE = Signal Excess, SL = Source Level, PL = Propagation Loss,


NL = Noise Level (Total Background Noise), DI = Directivity Index, and
RD = Recognition Differential.

6. Active Sonar Equation (Noise-Limited, Monostatic Case):


SE = SL + TS - NL + DI - RD - 2PL
where

SE = Signal Excess, SL = Source Level, TS = Target Strength,


NL = Noise Level (Total Background Noise),
DI = Directivity Index, RD = Recognition Differential,
and PL = Propagation Loss.

186

Useful Formulas and Definitions


7. Cutoff Frequency - the lowest frequency which may be trapped within a Surface
Duct or within a Sound Channel; limiting frequency is based on
respective wavelength; optimum frequency which will be trapped is
1.8 to 2.0 times the cutoff frequency.
Formula for Surface Duct:

fc

0.3978 x Co1.5

Zld x ( C).5
where

fc = cutoff frequency in Hz, C = Cld - Co,


Cld = sound speed at sonic layer depth, and
Co = surface sound speed , Zld = sonic layer depth,
0.3978= constant, independent of measuring system
(feet or meters).

Formula for Sound Channel:

fc

0.2652 x Ca

1.5

x (C) .5
where

fc = cutoff frequency in Hz, Z = sound channel thickness,


C = Cb - Ca, Ca = sound speed at sound channel axis depth,
Cb = sound speed at channel boundaries.
0.2652 = constant, independent of measuring system
(feet or meters).

8. Sonic Layer Depth (SLD)

depth on a Sound Speed Profile where the maximum


near-surface sound speed is attained; the bottom
depth of the Surface Duct; upper boundary of the
Deep Sound Channel.

9. Critical Depth (CD) - deep depth on a Sound Speed Profile where the sound
speed at the Sonic Layer Depth is reacquired; lower boundary of
the Deep Sound Channel.

187

Useful Formulas and Definitions


10. Depth Excess (DE) - difference in depth from the Critical Depth to the Ocean
Bottom for near-surface sources or from the Conjugate
Depth to the Ocean Bottom for submerged (below-layer)
sources; usually measured in fathoms; relates to the
probability of convergence zone propagation path occurrence.
11. Sound Channel - any location on the sound speed profile where a negative
gradient is followed by a positive gradient, which forms an axis
at the sound speed minimum occurring between the gradients;
Strength (Magnitude) is the difference in sound speed between
the axis and the boundaries; Thickness is the difference in
depth between the upper and lower boundary.
12. Deep Sound Channel (DSC) - sound channel on the sound speed profile with its
axis (DSCA) as the lowest sound speed occurring on the entire
profile. Usually occurs at several thousand feet of depth, but
may migrate to shallow depths during winter season in high
latitudes and in the Mediterranean Sea.
13. Secondary Sound Channel (SSC) - sound channel occurring within either the
upper portion of the Deep Sound Channel or the Surface Duct;
may occur for short duration due to ocean front interactions;
occur for long duration in a variety of watermasses around the
world; usually shallow enough and of long enough duration to
warrant tactical investigation; axis is entitled Secondary Sound
Channel Axis (SSCA).
14. Submerged Convergence Zone - propagation path occurring in the upper region
of the Deep Sound Channel; focusing of acoustic energy defines
path as convergence zone propagation and is most intense at
depths approximately equal to submarine depth; extent of
propagation path is determined by sound speed profile and depth
of submarine; ranges are shorter than surface convergence zone
paths.

188

Useful Formulas and Definitions


15. Conjugate Depth - relatively deep depth on the sound speed profile at which the
sound speed equals the sound speed at the depth of a submarine
below the layer.
16. Wilson's Equation for Speed of Sound:
Metric System:
C = 1449.2 + 4.623T - .0546T2 + 1.391(S-35) + .017D
C = Speed of Sound in meters/second
where
T = Temperature in Celsius
S = Salinity in parts per thousand (ppt)
D = Depth in meters
English System:
C = 4427.2 + 11.962T - .0553T2 + 4.562(S-35) + .017D
C = Speed of Sound in feet/second
where
T = Temperature in Fahrenheit
S = Salinity in parts per thousand (ppt)
D = Depth in feet
17. Sound Speed Factors - the factors relating to changes in sound speed are
Temperature (T), Salinity (S), and Pressure (P). The relationship to the
change in sound speed for the change of each factor is as follows:
Metric System:
CT = ( 4.62 - .11 TC ) TC , where TC = 1o C; for TC =13o C , C = 3.2 m/sec
CS = 1.4 S , for S = 1 ppt, C = 1.4 m/sec
CD = .017 D , for D =100 meters, C = 1.7 m/sec
English System:
CT = ( 11.96 - .11 Tf ) Tf, where Tf = 1o F; for Tf =54oF , C = 6.0 ft/sec
CS = 4.56 S ;
for S = 1 ppt, C = 4.6 ft/sec
CD = .017 D
for D =100 feet, C = 1.7 ft/sec

189

Appendix F
FOM Terminology

F.1 Introduction
The Figure of Merit (FOM) terminology used in the U.S. Navy is not universal
between USW communities or platform types. The following list of FOM formulas
should help to clarify the differences.
Airborne Platform FOM Equation:
FOM = SL - AN - RD
Where:

FOM = Figure of Merit


SL = Source Level
AN = Ambient Noise
RD = Recognition Differential

Surface Platform FOM Equation:


FOM = SL - LE - RD
Where:

FOM = Figure of Merit


SL = Source Level
LE = Total Background Noise
RD = Recognition Differential

Submarine Platform FOM Equation:


NFM = LS - LE - NRD
Where:

NFM = Figure of Merit


LS = Source Level
LE = Total Background Noise
NRD = Recognition Differential

190

Appendix R
References

1. Bell, T.G.; Comparison of Target Detection Results with Expectations based on


USL Range Prediction Methods (U), U.S. Navy Underwater Sound Laboratory Research
Report Number 576, U.S. Navy Underwater Sound Laboratory, New London, CT, April
1963. CONFIDENTIAL
2. Bell, T.G.; Operating the AN/SQS-26 Sonar in the Ocean Environment (U), USL
Research Report No. 726, U.S. Navy Underwater Sound Laboratory, New London, CT,
1966. CONFIDENTIAL
3. Blumenthal, B.; Guide to Common Shipboard Expendable Bathythermograph
(SXBT) Recording Malfunctions, Reference Publication 21, Naval Oceanographic
Office, NSTL, MS, August 1978.
4. Carter, D.J.T.; Echo Sounding Correction Tables, 3rd Edition, NP 139,
Hydrographic Department, Minister of Defense, Taunton, Somerset, 1980.
5. Carter, R.G., LCDR USN, ed.; Destroyer Sonar Manual (U), Technical Report 8-74,
COMCRUDESGRUTWO/DESDEVGRU, 1974. CONFIDENTIAL
6. Convergence Zone Range Slide Rule, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, New
London, CT, Revised 1973.
7. Del Santo, Jr., R.F., and T.G. Bell; A Comparison of Predicted Versus Actual
Submarine Sonar Detection Ranges (U), U.S. Navy Underwater Sound Laboratory
Report 544, U.S. Navy Underwater Sound Laboratory, New London, CT, 1962.
CONFIDENTIAL
8. Diachok, O.I., and R. S. Winokur; Spacial Variability of Underwater Ambient Noise
at the Arctic Ice-Water Boundary, Journal of the Acoustic Society of America, 55, No. 4
[1974]:750.
9. Hanssen, G.L.; Application and Display (U), Volume 6, Special Publication Number
106, U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office, Washington, D.C., First Edition, 1966.
CONFIDENTIAL
10. Hanssen, G.L.; Operational Display of Oceanographic Charts, Informal Report No.
67-86, U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office, Washington, D.C., December 1967.
11. Huff, R.P. Lt., USN; COMPATWINGSPAC ASW Oceanography News,
Oceanography How to Get the Most From It, FASOTRAGRUPAC DET,
PATWINGSPAC, NAS Moffett Field, CA, n.d.

191

12. Jitkovskiy, Yu, and L. Volovova; Sound Scattering from the Ocean Bottom,
Proceedings of the Fifth International Acoustic Congress, Paper E67, Liege, Belgium,
1965.
13. Lehmann, Richard, 1992 and 1998.
14. Levenson, C.; Atlas of Non-Submarine Sonar Targets (Whales and Bottom
Features for the Western North Atlantic), unpublished report, U.S. Naval Oceanographic
Office, Washington, D.C., 1969.
15. Lyons, A.M.; Sea Water Sound Speed Expressed in English Units, U.S. Naval
Ordnance Laboratory Technical Report 63-168, U.S. Naval Ordnance Laboratory, White
Oak, MD, 1963.
16. Matthews, D.J.; Tables of the Velocity of Sound in Pure Water and Sea Water for
Use in Echo Sounding and Sound Ranging, Hydrographic Department, Ministry
Defense (Naval), London, England, 1939.
17. Officer, C.B.; Introduction to the Theory of Sound Transmission, McGraw-Hill, New
York, NY, 1958.
18. Operating Guidelines for the CG-47 Class Ship with the AN/SQQ-89(V)3 Surface
Antisubmarine Warfare Combat System, Sonar Supervisor Manual (U), NUSC TD8063-1, August 1988. SECRET
19. Submarine Tactics (U), Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 2-6, COMSUBDEVRON 12, September
1986. CONFIDENTIAL
20. Surface Ship Acoustic Prediction Systems and Tactics (U), NWP 3-21/34, Chief of
Naval Operations, Department of the Navy, Washington, D.C., October 1998.
CONFIDENTIAL
21. Swanson, B.K.; Submarine Sonar Environmental Manual (U), Special Publication
Number 140, U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office, Washington, D.C., 1974.
CONFIDENTIAL
22. Urick, R.J.; Principles of Underwater Sound for Engineers, McGraw-Hill, New York,
NY, 1967.
23. Urick, R.J.; Principles of Underwater Sound for Engineers, 2nd ed., McGraw-Hill,
New York, NY, 1975.
24. Urick, R.J., Sound Propagation in the Sea, Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency (DARPA), Washington, D.C., 1979.

192

25. Vidale, M.L., and M.H. Houston; Estimates of Ambient Noise in the Deep Ocean
(U), General Oceanography Report No. 4, LRAPP, Office of Naval Research, December
1968. CONFIDENTIAL
26. Wilson, W.D.; Speed of Sound in Sea Water, Journal of the Acoustic Society of
America, 1960, 32:641.

193

DISTRIBUTION LIST
SNDL

ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

A1J1B

PEOASWASM PATUXENT RIVER MD

A1J1K

PEOUNSEAWAR WASHINGTON DC

A1J1M

PEOMINEWAR WASHINGTON DC

A1J1N

PEOSUB WASHINGTON DC

A2A

CNR ARLINGTON VA
[32B, 32SO, 322B (2 copies)]

A3

CNO WASHINGTON DC
[N096 (2 copies), N84, N85, N87, N091(2 copies), N095]

A6

CMC WASHINGTON DC (ASL-44)

B2A

JWAC DAHLGREN VA

B2A

JWAC DET WASHINGTON DC

B2E

DMACSC WASHINGTON DC

B2E

DMACSC EUR OBERAUERBACH GE

B2E

DMACSC LANT NORFOLK VA

B2E

DMACSC PAC HICKAM AFB HI

B2E

DMACSC EUR DET NAPLES IT

B2E

DMACSC LATIN AMERICA ALBROOK AFB PM

B2E

DMACSC PAC DET ATSUGI JA

B2E

DMACSC PAC DET SAN DIEGO CA

B2E

NIMA HQ FAIRFAX VA

B2E

NIMA WASHINGTON DC

B2E

DMS FT BELVOIR VA

194

DISTRIBUTION LIST
SNDL

ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

B2G

DTIC (OCC)

B3

COMDT AFCS NORFOLK VA

B3

COMDT NWC WASHINGTON DC

B3

IRMC WASHINGTON DC

B3

PRES NDU WASHINGTON DC

C20C

NRL DET STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS


(7100, 7300, 7400)

C20C

NRL DET MONTEREY CA


(7500)

C20C

NRLCHESBAY DET CHESAPEAKE BEACH MD

C281

NAVOCEANPROFAC WHIDBEY ISLAND DET


COOS HEAD OR

C281

NAVOCEANPROFAC WHIDBEY ISLAND DET


PACIFIC BEACH WA

C281

NAVOCEANPROFAC WHIDBEY ISLAND DET


PEARL HARBOR HI

C40

FLENUMMETOC DET ASHEVILLE NC

C40

NAVPACMETOC DET ATSUGI JA

C40

NAVPACMETOCFAC COMP BANGOR WA

C40

NAVPACMETOC DET BARBERS POINT HI

C40

NAVLANTMETOC DET BRUNSWICK ME

C40

NAVLANTMETOC DET CECIL FIELD FL

C40

NAVTRAMETOC DET CORPUS CHRISTI TX

C40

NAVPACMETOC DET DIEGO GARCIA

195

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ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

C40

NAVPACMETOC DET EL CENTRO CA

C40

NAVPACMETOC DET FALLON CA

C40

NAVTRAMETOC DET FT WORTH TX

C40

NAVLANTMETOC DET GUANTANAMO BAY CU

C40

NAVPACMETOC DET KADENA JA

C40

NAVLANTMETOC DET KEFLAVIK IC

C40

NAVLANTMETOC DET, KEY WEST FL

C40

NAVLANTMETOCFAC COMP KINGS BAY GA

C40

NAVTRAMETOC DET KINGSVILLE TX

C40

NAVPACMETOC DET LEMOORE CA

C40

NAVLANTMETOC DET MAYPORT FL

C40

NAVTRAMETOC DET MERIDIAN MS

C40

NAVPACMETOC DET MIRAMAR CA

C40

NAVPACMETOC DET MISAWA JA

C40

NAVEURMETOC DET NAPLES IT

C40

NAVLANTMETOC FAC COMP NEW LONDON CT

C40

NAVTRAMETOC DET NEW ORLEANS LA

C40

NAVTRAMETOC DET NEWPORT RI

C40

NAVLANTMETOC DET, OCEANA VA

C40

NAVLANTMETOC DET PATUXENT RIVER MD

C40

NAVPACMETOC DET PT MAGU CA

196

DISTRIBUTION LIST
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ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

C40

NAVLANTMETOC DET ROOSEVELT ROADS PR

C40

NAVPACMETOC DET SASEBO JA

C40

NAVEURMETOC DET SIGONELLA IT

C40

NAVEURMETOC DET SOUDA BAY GR

C40

FLTNUMMETOC DET TINKER AFB OK

C40

NAVPACMETOC DET WHIDBEY ISLAND WA

C40

NAVTRAMETOC DET WHITING FIELD FL

C40

NAVTRAMETOC DET WILLOW GROVE PA

C84D

NAVUNSEAWARCEN DET AUTEC


ANDROS ISLAND BAHAMAS

C84D

NAVUNSEAWARCEN DET ORLANDO FL

C84D

NAVUNSEAWARCEN DET WAIANAE HI

C84D

NAVUNSEAWARCEN DET AUTEC


WEST PALM BEACH FL

E3B

ONR EUR

FA39

NAVOCEANPROFAC DAM NECK VA


[Attn: SURTASS MIL DET (5)]

FA39

NAVOCEANPROFAC WHIDBEY ISLAND WA


[Attn: SURTASS MIL DET (6)]

FA43

REDTRAFAC DAM NECK VA

FD1

COMNAVMETOCCOM STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS


[N43 (10 copies), N434 (24 copies)]

34

FD2

NAVOCEANO STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS


[N72TS(10), N72MD, N72PD(5), N72JL, N72JP]

18

197

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ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

FD3

FLENUMMETOCCEN MONTEREY CA

FD4

NAVLANTMETOCCEN NORFOLK VA
[MET (2 copies)]

FD4

NAVPACMETOCCEN PEARL HARBOR HI


[MET (2copies)]

FD4

NAVICECEN SUITLAND MD

FD5

NAVEURMETOCCEN ROTA SP
[MET (2copies)]

FD6

NAVLANTMETOCFAC, JACKSONVILLE FL
[MET (2 copies)]

FD6

NAVPACMETOCFAC, SAN DIEGO CA


[MET (2 copies)]

FD6

NAVPACMETOCFAC, YOKOSUKA JA
[MET (2 copies)]

FD6

NAVCENTMETOCFAC, BAHRAIN
[MET (2 copies)]

FD7

NAVTRAMETOCFAC, PENSACOLA

FF6

NAVOBSY WASHINGTON DC

FF38

U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY


(ATTN: OCEANOGRAPHY DEPT.)

FKA12

TRITRAFAC KINGS BAY

FKP1E

NAVUNSEAWARCENDIV NEWPORT RI

FKP1E

NAVUNSEAWARCENDIV KEYPORT WA

FKP1E

COMNAVUNSEAWARCEN NEWPORT RI

FS1

ONI WASHINGTON DC (ATTN CODE 26M)

198

DISTRIBUTION LIST
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ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

FT13

NATTC

FT15

NAVTECTRAU, KEESLER AFB


[Code OO, OOE, CISO, 50 (4) , & 106(2)]

FT24

FLETRACEN NORFOLK VA
[N396, N396A (2 copies)

FT38

NAVSUBTRACENPAC PEARL HARBOR HI

FT43

SWOSCOLCOM

FT46

FLEASWTRACENPAC SAN DIEGO CA


(N65)

FT78

NETPDTC PENSACOLA FL
[N311(2), N315]

FT85

TRITRAFAC BANGOR WA

FT95

SUBTRAFAC NORFOLK VA

V4

MARINE CORPS AIR FACILITY


(Attn: WXSVCOFF)
MCAF KANEOHE BAY HI
MCAF QUANTICO VA

V5

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION


(Attn: WXSVCOFF)
MCAS CHERRY POINT NC
MCAS NEW RIVER NC
MCAS BEAUFORT SC
MCAS MIRAMAR CA
MCAS CAMP PENDLETON CA
MCAS EL TORO CA
MCAS YUMA AZ
MCAS FUTENMA JA
MCAS IWAKUNI JA

V12

MARINE CORPS COMBAT DEVELOPMENT


COMMAND (Attn: DOCTRINE DIVISION)

199

DISTRIBUTION LIST
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ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

V25

MARINE CORPS AIR/GROUND COMBAT CENTER


(Attn: WXSVCOFF)

N/A

CHEMICAL BIOLOGICAL INCIDENT


RESPONSE FORCE (Attn: S-2/S-3)

21A1

CINLANTFLT NORFOLK VA (Code N37)

21A2

CINCPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI (Code O2M)

21A3

CINCUSNAVEUR LONDON UK

21A3

CINCUSNAVEUR NAPLES IT

21A4

COMUSNAVCENT BAHRAIN

21A4

DEPCOMUSNAVCENT MACDILL AFB FL

22A1

COMSECONDFLT

22A2

COMSEVENTHFLT

22A2

COMTHIRDFLT

22A3

COMSIXTHFLT

22A4

COMFIFTHFLT

23A1

COMNAVICE KEFLAVIK IC

23A2

COMNAVFORKOREA DET CINC CHINHAE KOR

23A2

COMNAVMARIANAS DET CAT GU

23A2

COMUSNAVAK JUNEAU AK

23A2

COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA

23A2

COMNAVFORKOREA SEOUL KOR

23A2

COMNAVFORKOREA NCC DET CHINHAE KOR

200

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ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

23A2

COMNAVMARIANAS GU

23B1

USCOMSOLANT

23B1

CTF EIGHT FOUR

23B1

USCOMEASTLANT LONDON UK

23B2

COMASWFORPAC PEARL HARBOR HI

23B2

COMCARSTRIKEFORSEVENTHFLT

23B2

COMNAVSPECWARCOM CORONADO CA

23B2

COMPATRECONFORSEVENTHFLT KAMI SEYA JA

23B3

COMAREAASWFORSIXTHFLT

23B3

COMBATTLEFORSIXTHFLT

23B3

COMARSURVRECFORSIXTHFLT

23B3

COMARSURVRECFORSIXTHFLT DET ROTA SP

23B3

COMARSURVRECFORSIXTHFLT DET
SIGONELLA IT

23B4

COMIDEASTFOR

23C

COMNAVRESFOR NEW ORLEANS LA

24A1

COMNAVAIRLANT NORFOLK VA

24A2

COMNAVAIRPAC SAN DIEGO CA

24D1

COMNAVSURFLANT NORFOLK VA

24D2

COMNAVSURFPAC SAN DIEGO CA

24G1

COMSUBLANT NORFOLK VA (Code N25)

24G2

COMSUBPAC PEARL HARBOR HI (Code N24)

201

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ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

25A

COMINEWARCOM CORPUS CHRISTI TX

25A1

COMCMRON ONE

25A1

COMCMRON TWO

25A1

COMCMRON THREE

26A1

COMPHIBGRU TWO

26A2

COMPHIBGRU ONE

26A2

COMPHIBGRU THREE

26B3

COMNAVSURFRESFOR NEW ORLEANS LA

26B3A

NAVSURFRESFOR TSLS NEW ORLEANS LA

26D1

SEAL TEAM TWO

26D1

SEAL TEAM FOUR

26D1

SEAL TEAM SIX

26D1

SEAL TEAM EIGHT

26D2

SEAL TEAM ONE

26D2

SEAL TEAM THREE

26D2

SEAL TEAM FIVE

26E1

ACU TWO

26E1

ACU FOUR

26E1

BMU TWO

26E1

COMSPECBOATRON TWO

26E2

ACU ONE

202

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ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

26E2

ACU FIVE

26E2

BMU ONE

26E2

COMSPECBOATRON ONE

26J1

COMAFLOATRAGRULANT NORFOLK VA

26J1

AFLOATRAGRU NORFOLK VA

26J1

AFLOATRAGRU MAYPORT FL

26J1

COMAFLOATRAGRU INGLESIDE TX

26J2

COMAFLOATRAGRUMIDPAC PEARL HARBOR HI

26J2

COMAFLOATRAGRUPAC SAN DIEGO CA

26J2

COMAFLOATRAGRUWESTPAC YOKOSUKA JA

26J2

AFLOATRAGRUPAC PACNORWEST DET

26J2

AFLOATRAGRUWESTPACDET SASEBO JA

26K

COMUNDERSEASURV DAM NECK VA

26K

COMUNDERSEASURV DET PEARL HARBOR HI

26R1

MIUWU TWO ZERO ONE

26R1

MIUWU TWO ZERO TWO

26R1

MIUWU TWO ZERO THREE

26R1

MIUWU TWO ZERO FOUR

26R1

MIUWU TWO ZERO FIVE

26R1

MIUWU TWO ZERO SIX

26R1

MIUWU TWO ZERO SEVEN

203

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ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

26R1

MIUWU TWO ZERO EIGHT

26R1

MIUWU TWO ONE ZERO

26R1

MIUWU TWO ONE TWO

26R1

MIUWU TWO ONE FOUR

26R1

COMNAVIUWGRU TWO

26R2

MIUWU ONE ZERO ONE

26R2

MIUWU ONE ZERO TWO

26R2

MIUWU ONE ZERO THREE

26R2

MIUWU ONE ZERO FOUR

26R2

MIUWU ONE ZERO FIVE

26R2

MIUWU ONE ZERO SIX

26R2

MIUWU ONE ZERO EIGHT

26R2

MIUWU ONE ZERO NINE

26R2

MIUWU ONE ONE ZERO

26R2

MIUWU ONE ONE TWO

26R2

MIUWU ONE ONE FOUR

26R2

COMNAVIUWGRU ONE

26S1

COMNCWGRU TWO

26S2

NCWGRU ONE

26QQ1

COMNAVSPECWARDEVGRU DAM NECK VA

26QQ1

NAVSPECWARGRU TWO

204

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ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

26QQ1

NAVSPECWARUNIT EIGHT

26QQ1

NAVSPECWARUNIT FOUR

26QQ1

NAVSPECWARUNIT TEN

26QQ1

NAVSPECWARUNIT TWO

26QQ2

COMNAVSPECWARGRU ONE DET KODIAK AK

26QQ2

COMNAVSPECWARGRU ONE

26QQ2

NAVSPECWARUNIT ONE

26QQ3

NAVSPECWARUNIT THREE

26QQ4

NAVSPECWARDET TWO

26QQ4

SPECBOAT DET FOUR

26WW

DSU SAN DIEGO CA

26YY3

FOSIC EUROPE LONDON UK

26KKK1

TACTRAGRULANT DAM NECK VA

26KKK2

TACTRAGRUPAC SAN DIEGO CA

26OOO

NAVSURFPAC MOBTRAEVCOM

26WWW

NAVTRASUPPU TINKER AFB OK

28A1

COMCARGRU TWO

28A1

COMCARGRU FOUR

28A1

COMCARGRU SIX

28A1

COMCARGRU EIGHT

28A2

COMCARGRU ONE

205

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ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

28A2

COMCARGRU THREE

28A2

COMCARGRU FIVE

28A2

COMCARGRU SEVEN

28B1

COMCRUDESGRU TWO

28B1

COMCRUDESGRU EIGHT

28B1

COMCRUDESGRU TWELVE

28B1

COMWESTHEMGRU

28B1

COMWESTHEMGRU DET PASCAGOULA

28B2

COMCRUDESGRU ONE

28B2

COMCRUDESGRU THREE

28B2

COMCRUDESGRU FIVE

28C1

COMSURFWARDEVGRU DET WEST


CORONADO CA

28C1

COMNAVSURFGRU MED

28C1

COMSURFWARDEVGRU LITTLE CREEK VA

28C2

COMNAVSURFGRU MIDPAC

28C2

COMNAVSURFGRU PACNORWEST

28D1

COMDESRON TWO

28D1

COMDESRON SIX

28D1

COMDESRON FOURTEEN

28D1

COMDESRON EIGHTEEN

28D1

COMDESRON TWO TWO

206

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ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

28D1

COMDESRON TWO FOUR

28D1

COMDESRON TWO SIX

28D1

COMDESRON TWO EIGHT

28D1

COMDESRON THREE TWO

28D2

COMDESRON ONE

28D2

COMDESRON SEVEN

28D2

COMDESRON NINE

28D2

COMDESRON THIRTEEN

28D2

COMDESRON FIFTEEN

28D2

COMDESRON TWO ONE

28D2

COMDESRON TWO THREE

28D2

COMDESRON THREE ONE

28D2

COMDESRON THREE THREE

28D3

COMDESRON FIVE ZERO

28K1

COMSUBDEVRON TWELVE (Code N225)

28K1

COMSUBGRU TEN (Code 32)

28K1

COMSUBGRU TWO (Code N3)

28K1

COMSUBGRU EIGHT (Code N3)

28K1

COMSUBRON TWO

28K1

COMSUBRON FOUR

28K1

COMSUBRON SIX

207

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ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

28K1

COMSUBRON EIGHT

28K1

COMSUBRON SIXTEEN

28K1

COMSUBRON TWO ZERO

28K1

COMSUBRON TWO TWO

28K2

COMSUBGRU SEVEN (Code N3)

28K2

COMSUBGRU NINE (Code N33)

28K2

COMSUBDEVRON FIVE SAN DIEGO CA

28K2

COMSUBRON ONE

28K2

COMSUBRON THREE

28K2

COMSUBRON SEVEN

28K2

COMSUBRON ELEVEN

28K2

COMSUBRON SEVENTEEN

17

28L1

COMPHIBRON TWO

28L1

COMPHIBRON FOUR

28L1

COMPHIBRON SIX

28L1

COMPHIBRON EIGHT

28L2

COMPHIBRON ONE

28L2

COMPHIBRON THREE

28L2

COMPHIBRON FIVE

28L2

COMPHIBRON SEVEN

28L2

COMPHIBRON ELEVEN

208

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# OF COPIES

29A1

GUIDED MISSILE CRUISER LANT (CG)

14

29A2

GUIDED MISSILE CRUISER PAC (CG)

13

29B1

AIRCRAFT CARRIER LANT (CV) (CVN)

29B2

AIRCRAFT CARRIER PAC (CV) (CVN)

29E1

DESTROYER (DD) LANT, 963 CLASS

14

29E2

DESTROYER PAC (DD), 963 CLASS

12

29F1

GUIDED MISSILE DESTROYER LANT (DDG)

15

29F1

PCO OKANE (DDG77)

29F1

PCO PORTER (DDG78)

29F2

GUIDED MISSILE DESTROYER PAC (DDG)

14

29N1

SUBMARINE LANT (SSN)

35

29N2

SUBMARINE PAC (SSN)

28

29P2

AUXILLARY RESEARCH SUBMARINE PAC (AGSS)

29Q1

FLEET BALLISTIC MISSILE SUBMARINE LANT


(SSBN 734-743, BLUE AND GOLD)

20

29Q2

FLEET BALLISTIC MISSILE SUBMARINE PAC


(SSBN 726-733, BLUE AND GOLD)

20

29S

RESEARCH SUBMARINE (NUCLEAR) (NR)

29AA1

GUIDED MISSILE FRIGATE LANT (FFG)

23

29AA2

GUIDED MISSILE FRIGATE PAC (FFG)

17

30A

USS INCHON (MCS 12)

30B

MINE HUNTER COASTAL (MHC) AND


FLEINTROTM SAVANNAH GA

12

209

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ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

30B

PCO SHRIKE (MHC)

30C

MINE COUNTERMEASURES (MCM) AND


FLEINTROTM GREEN BAY WI

15

31A1

USS MOUNT WHITNEY (LCC 20)

31A2

USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC 19)

31H1

AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT SHIP LANT (LHA) (LPH)

31H2

AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT SHIP PAC (LHA) (LPH)

31N1

MULTI-PURPOSE AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT SHIP LANT

31N2

MULTI-PURPOSE AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT SHIP PAC

32KK

MISCELLANEOUS COMMAND SHIP (AGF)

42A1

COMFAIR KEFLAVIK IC

42A1

COMFAIRCARIB ROOSEVELT ROADS PR

42A2

COMFAIRWESTPAC ATSUGI JA

42A3

COMFAIRMED NAPLES IT

42B1

COMPATWINGSLANT NORFOLK VA

42B1

PATWINGSLANT DET AMPO JACKSONVILLE FL

42B2

COMPATWINGSPAC BARBERS POINT HI

42B2

PATWINSPAC DET TSC NORTH ISLAND

42B3

COMRESPATWINGLANT DET JACKSONVILLE FL

42B3

COMRESPATWINGPAC DET WHIDBEY ISLAND WA

42B3

COMHELWINGRES SAN DIEGO CA

210

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ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

42B3

COMRESPATWINGLANT NORFOLK VA

42B3

COMRESPATWINGPAC MOFFETT FIELD CA

42D1

FASOTRAGRULANT NORFOLK VA

42D1

FASOTRAGRULANT DET BRUNSWICK ME

42D1

FASOTRAGRULANT DET CHERRY POINT NC

42D1

FASOTRAGRULANT DET JACKSONVILLE FL

42D1

FASOTRAGRULANT DET MAYPORT FL

42D1

FASOTRAGRULANT DET OCEANA

42D2

FASOTRAGRUPAC SAN DIEGO CA

42D2

FASOTRAGRUPAC DET ATSUGI JA

42D2

FASOTRAGRUPAC DET BARBERS POINT HI

42D2

FASOTRAGRUPAC DET SAN DIEGO CA

42D2

FASOTRAGRUPAC DET FALLON NV

42D2

FASOTRAGRUPAC DET LEMOORE CA

42D2

FASOTRAGRUPAC DET WARNER SPRINGS CA

42D2

FASOTRAGRUPAC DET WHIDBEY ISLAND WA

42E1

COMHSWINGLANT JACKSONVILLE FL

42E1

COMHSLWINGLANT MAYPORT FL

42E1

COMHSLWINGLANT DET SIGONELLA IT

42E1

COMHSLWINGLANT DET WTU

42E1

COMHELTACWINGLANT NORFOLK VA

211

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ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

42E2

COMHSLWINGPAC SAN DIEGO CA

42E2

COMHSWINGPAC SAN DIEGO CA

42E2

COMHELTACWINGPAC SAN DIEGO CA

42P1

COMPATWING FIVE

42P1

PATRON FIVE

42P1

PATRON EIGHT

42P1

PATRON TEN

42P1

COMPATWING ELEVEN JACKSONVILLE FL

42P1

PATRON SIXTEEN

42P1

PATRON TWO SIX

42P1

PATRON THREE ZERO

42P1

PATRON FOUR FIVE

42P1

SPEC PROJ PATRON ONE BRUNSWICK ME

42P2

COMPATWING ONE KAMI SEYA JA

42P2

PATWING ONE DET KADENA JA

42P2

PATWING ONE DET MISAWA JA

42P2

PATWING ONE DET DIEGO GARCIA

42P2

COMPATWING TEN WHIDBEY ISLAND WA

42P2

PATRON ONE

42P2

PATRON FOUR

42P2

PATRON NINE

212

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ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

42P2

PATRON FOUR ZERO

42P2

PATRON FOUR SIX

42P2

PATRON FOUR SEVEN

42P2

PATRON SPEC PROJ UNIT TWO


BARBERS POINT HI

42P3

PATRON SIX TWO

42P3

PATRON SIX FOUR

42P3

PATRON SIX FIVE

42P3

PATRON SIX SIX

42P3

PATRON SIX NINE

42P3

PATRON NINE ONE

42P3

PATRON NINE TWO

42P3

PATRON NINE FOUR

42W1

HELMINERON FOURTEEN

42W1

HELMINERON FIFTEEN

42BB1

HELANTISUBRON THREE

42BB1

HELANTISUBRON FIVE

42BB1

HELANTISUBRON SEVEN

42BB1

HELANTISUBRON ELEVEN

42BB1

HELANTISUBRON FIFTEEN

42BB2

HELANTISUBRON TWO

42BB2

HELANTISUBRON FOUR

213

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ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

42BB2

HELANTISUNRON SIX

42BB2

HELANTISUBRON EIGHT

42BB2

HELANTISUBRON TEN

42BB2

HELANTISUBRON FOURTEEN

42BB3

HELANTISUBRON SEVEN FIVE

42CC1

HSL FOUR ZERO MAYPORT FL

42CC1

HSL FOUR TWO MAYPORT FL

42CC1

HSL FOUR FOUR MAYPORT FL

42CC1

HSL FOUR SIX MAYPORT FL

42CC1

HSL FOUR EIGHT MAYPORT FL

42CC2

HSL THREE SEVEN BARBERS POINT HI

42CC2

HSL FOUR ONE NORTH ISLAND CA

42CC 2

HSL FOUR THREE NORTH ISLAND CA

42CC2

HSL FOUR FIVE NORTH ISLAND CA

42CC2

HSL FOUR SEVEN NORTH ISLAND CA

42CC2

HSL FOUR NINE NORTH ISLAND CA

42CC2

HSL FIVE ONE ATSUGI JA

42CC2

HSL FIVE ONE DET ELEVEN ATSUGI JA

42CC3

HSL EIGHT FOUR NORTH ISLAND CA

42CC3

HSL NINE FOUR NAS WILLOW GROVE PA

214

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# OF COPIES

45A1

FLEET MARINE FORCE COMMANDS


(Attn: WXSVCOFF)
MARFORLANT
MARFORPAC
MARFORRES

45A2

MARINE EXPEDITIONARY FORCE


(Attn: WXSVCOFF)
I MEF
II MEF
III MEF

46B

MARINE AIRCRAFT WING


(Attn: WXSVCOFF)
FIRST MAW
SECOND MAW
THIRD MAW
FOURTH MAW

46Q

MARINE WING SUPPORT GROUP


(Attn: WXSVCOFF)
MWSG-17
MWSG-27
MWSG-37
MWSG-47

46R

MARINE WING SUPPORT SQUADRON


(Attn: WXSVCOFF)
MWSS-171
MWSS-172
MWSS-271
MWSS-272
MWSS-273
MWSS-274
MWSS-371
MWSS-372
MWSS-373
MWSS-374

10

46U

MARINE AVIATION WEAPONS AND


TACTICS SQUADRON ONE (Attn: WXSVCOFF)

215

DISTRIBUTION LIST
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ACTIVITY

# OF COPIES

50A

CINCUSACOM NORFOLK VA
(Attn: J335WX)

50A

USCINCEUR ECJ1-AAL VAIHINGEN GE


(Attn: J33WE)

50A

USCINCCENT MACDILL AFB FL


(Attn: CCJC-OW)

50A

USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
(Attn: J316)

50A

USCINCSO MIAMI FL
(Attn: SCJ3-SMO)

50A

USCINCSPACE PETERSON AFB CO


(Attn: J33W)

50A

USCINCSOC MACDILL AFB FL


(Attn: J3-OW)

50A

USSTRATCOM OFFUTT AFB NB


(Attn: J315)

50A

USTRANSCOM SCOTT AFB IL


(Attn: PCJ3/J4-ODM)

50D

COMNAVSPECWARCOM CORONADO CA

50D
50D

CINCLANTFLT NORFOLK VA
COMUSNAVCENT BAHRAIN

1
1

50D

DEPCOMUSNAVCENT MACDILL AFB FL

50D

CINCUSNAVEUR LONDON UK

50D

CINCPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI

216