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New England Shelfbreak Front 'Primer' Experiment Analysis Results

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LONG TERM GOALS. Our goal is to understand propagation of low frequency sound 10-1000 Hz from the continental slope to the continental shelf including the effects of ocean processes and bathymetric features that are associated with the shelf-break. This understanding is key to achieving accurate sonar prediction in a shelf-slope littoral environment. SCIENTIFIC OBJECTIVES. The acoustics objectives of the Shelfbreak PRIMER study, which took place in the shelf-slope transition region just south of New England, are 1 to determine the effects of the daily, seasonal, mesoscale and finescale oceanic variability of the shelf-break region on the transmission of sound from the slope to the shelf, 2 to understand the detailed relation between the oceanography and the acoustics, particularly in terms of standard acoustics variables as propagation loss, coherence, etc., and 3 to create tomographic maps of the ocean thermal structure in the shelf-break region. Studies of the local bottom acoustic properties were also pursued in collaboration with U. Rhode Island personnel. We additionally pursued oceanographic studies as part of our PRIMER work, with emphasis this year on the nonlinear internal wave field, which is of great importance to acoustics. APPROACH. Our overall approach was to make detailed, simultaneous measurements of the physical oceanographic and acoustic fields during both summer and winter conditions. We then relate these measurements to each other and to various quantities of interest using both standard acoustics models and newly developed theory and algorithms.

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  • Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
  • Acoustics

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