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Infrasound Propagation in the Arctic
This report summarizes results of the basic research project Infrasound Propagation in the Arctic. The scientific objective of this project was to provide a baseline understanding of the characteristic horizontal propagation distances, frequency dependencies, and conditions leading to enhanced propagation of infrasound in the Arctic region. The approach emphasized theory and numerical modeling as an initial step toward improving understanding of the basic phenomenology, and thus lay the foundation for productive experiments in the future. The modeling approach combined mesoscale numerical weather forecasts from the Polar Weather Research and Forecasting model with advanced acoustic propagation calculations. The project produced significant advances with regard to parabolic equation modeling of sound propagation in a windy atmosphere. For the polar low, interesting interactions with the stratosphere were found, which could possibly be used to provide early warning of strong stratospheric warming events (i.e., the polar vortex). The katabatic wind resulted in a very strong low-level duct, which, when combined with a highly reflective icy ground surface, leads to efficient long-distance propagation. This information is useful in devising strategies for positioning sensors to monitor environmental phenomena and human activities.
Approved For Public Release