Ray dynamics in a long-range acoustic propagation experiment

Francisco J. Beron-Vera, Michael G. Brown, John A. Colosi, Steven Tomsovic, Anatoly L. Virovlyansky, Michael A. Wolfson, George M. Zaslavsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Scopus citations


A ray-based wave-field description is employed in the interpretation of broadband basin-scale acoustic propagation measurements obtained during the Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate program's 1994 Acoustic Engineering Test. Acoustic observables of interest are wavefront time spread, probability density function (PDF) of intensity, vertical extension of acoustic energy in the reception finale, and the transition region between temporally resolved and unresolved wavefronts. Ray-based numerical simulation results that include both mesoscale and internal-wave-induced sound-speed perturbations are shown to be consistent with measurements of all the aforementioned observables, even though the underlying ray trajectories are predominantly chaotic, that is, exponentially sensitive to initial and environmental conditions. Much of the analysis exploits results that relate to the subject of ray chaos; these results follow from the Hamiltonian structure of the ray equations. Further, it is shown that the collection of the many eigenrays that form one of the resolved arrivals is nonlocal, both spatially and as a function of launch angle, which places severe restrictions on theories that are based on a perturbation expansion about a background ray.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1226-1242
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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    Beron-Vera, F. J., Brown, M. G., Colosi, J. A., Tomsovic, S., Virovlyansky, A. L., Wolfson, M. A., & Zaslavsky, G. M. (2003). Ray dynamics in a long-range acoustic propagation experiment. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 114(3), 1226-1242. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.1600724