Acoustical oceanography

Acoustical oceanography

Acoustical oceanography is the use of underwater sound to study the sea, its boundaries and its contents.


The earliest and most widespread use of sound and sonar technology to study the properties of the sea is the use of an echo sounder to measure water depth. The development of high resolution sonar in the second half of the 20th Century made it possible to not just detect underwater objects but to classify them and even image them.

Important contributions to acoustical oceanography have been made by:
* Walter Munk
* Hank Medwin
* John L Spiesberger
* C C Leroy
* David E Weston
* D. Van Holliday


See Clay and Medwin C. S. Clay & H. Medwin, Fundamentals of Acoustical Oceanography (Academic, Boston, 1998).]


See Clay and Medwin


Applications of acoustical oceanography include:
* fish population surveys
* classification of fish species and other biota
* rain rate measurement
* wind speed measurement
* water depth measurement
* seabed classification
* ocean acoustic tomography
* global thermometry
* monitoring of ocean-atmospheric gas exchange

Depth sounding

eabed classification

Marine biology

The study of marine life, from microplankton to the blue whale, uses bioacoustics. [E. J. Simmonds & D. N. MacLennan, Fisheries Acoustics, Second Edition (Blackwell, Oxford, 2005).]


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