Active and Passive Acoustic Behavior of Bubble Clouds at the Ocean’s Surface



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The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America


The emission and scattering of sound from bubble clouds is studied theoretically. It is shown that clouds having a size and air content similar to what might be expected as a consequence of the breaking of ocean waves can oscillate at frequencies as low as 100 Hz and below. Thus cloud oscillations may furnish an explanation of the substantial amount of low?frequency wind?dependent oceanic ambient noise observed experimentally. Detailed results for the backscattering from bubble clouds—particularly at low grazing angles—are also presented and shown to be largely compatible with oceanic data. Although the cloud model used here is idealized (a uniform hemispherical cloud under a plane water free?surface), it is shown that the results are relatively robust in terms of bubble size, distribution, and total air content. A similar insensitivity to cloud shape is found in a companion paper [Sarkar and Prosperetti, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 93, XXX (1993)].



Oceanography, Optical diffraction, Acoustics, Geodesy


Copyright 1993 The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. Recommended citation: Prosperetti, A., N. Q. Lu, and H. S. Kim. "Active and passive acoustic behavior of bubble clouds at the ocean’s surface." The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 93, no. 6 (1993): 3117-3127. DOI: 10.1121/1.405696 URL: Reproduced in accordance with the original publisher’s licensing terms and with permission from the author(s).