Surface gravity waves and their acoustic signatures, 1-30 Hz, on the mid-Pacific sea floor

TitleSurface gravity waves and their acoustic signatures, 1-30 Hz, on the mid-Pacific sea floor
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsFarrell W.E, Munk W.
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Date Published2013/10
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0001-4966
Accession NumberWOS:000330119700065
Keywordsambient noise; deep; generation; microseisms; model; motion; ocean; spectrum; underwater sound; wind-waves

In 1999, Duennebier et al. deployed a hydrophone and geophone below the conjugate depth in the abyssal Pacific, midway between Hawaii and California. Real time data were transmitted for 3 yr over an abandoned ATT cable. These data have been analyzed in the frequency band 1 to 30 Hz. Between 1 and 6 Hz, the bottom data are interpreted as acoustic radiation from surface gravity waves, an extension to higher frequencies of a non-linear mechanism proposed by Longuet-Higgins in 1950 to explain microseisms. The inferred surface wave spectrum for wave lengths between 6 m and 17 cm is saturated (wind-independent) and roughly consistent with the traditional Phillips kappa(-4) wave number spectrum. Shorter ocean waves have a strong wind dependence and a less steep wave number dependence. Similar features are found in the bottom record between 6 and 30 Hz. But this leads to an enigma: The derived surface spectrum inferred from the Longuet-Higgins mechanism with conventional assumptions for the dispersion relation is associated with mean square slopes that greatly exceed those derived from glitter. Regardless of the generation mechanism, the measured bottom intensities between 10 and 30 Hz are well below minimum noise standards reported in the literature. (C) 2013 Acoustical Society of America.

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