Accession Number:



Environmental Analysis and Prediction of Transmission Loss in the Region of the New England Shelfbreak

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



A confluence of several coastal oceanographic features creates an acoustically interesting region with high variability along the New England Shelfbreak. Determining the effect of the variability on acoustic propagation is critical for sonar systems. In the Nantucket Shoals area of the Middle Atlantic Bight, two experiments the New England Shelfbreak Tests NEST, were conducted in May and June, 2007 and 2008, to study this variability. A comprehensive climatology of the region along with the experimental data provided detailed information about the variability of the water column, particularly the temperature and sound speed fields. Empirical orthogonal function EOF analysis of the ocean sound speed field defined a set of perturbations to the background sound speed field for each of the NEST Scanfish surveys. Attenuation due to bottom sediments is the major contributor of transmission loss in the ocean. In shallow water, available propagation paths most often include bottom interaction. Perturbations in the ocean sound speed field can cause changes in the angle of incidence of sound rays with the bottom, which can result in changes to the amount of sound energy lost to the bottom. In lieu of complex transmission loss models, the lossbounce model provides a simpler way to predict transmission loss changes due to perturbations in the background sound speed field in the ocean. Using an acoustic wavenumber perturbation method, sound speed perturbations, defined by the ocean EOF modes, are translated into a change in the horizontal wavenumber which in turn changes the modal angle of incidence. The lossbounce model calculates the loss of sound energy dB per bottom bounce over a given distance based on the change in angle of incidence. Evaluated using experimental data from NEST, the lossbounce model provided accurate predictions of changes to transmission l

Subject Categories:

  • Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
  • Acoustics

Distribution Statement: