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Speed of Sound in the Water

Column
Correcting echo soundings

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A. Armstrong--Intro to Ocean Ma

SOUND SPEED VARIES WITH DEPTH

From C. de Moustier

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A. Armstrong--Intro to Ocean Ma

In the (not so distant) past


Nansen Bottles

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A. Armstrong--Intro to Ocean Ma

U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey Hydrographic Manual, 1963

06/29/1

A. Armstrong--Intro to Ocean Ma

U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey Hydrographic Manual, 1963

06/29/1

A. Armstrong--Intro to Ocean Ma

U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey


Hydrographic Manual, 1963

06/29/1

A. Armstrong--Intro to Ocean Ma

06/29/1

A. Armstrong--Intro to Ocean Ma

U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey Hydrographic Manual, 1963

06/29/1

A. Armstrong--Intro to Ocean Ma

U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey Hydrographic Manual, 1963

06/29/1

A. Armstrong--Intro to Ocean Ma

Salinity (conductivity)
Temperature
Depth (pressure)

Seabird Electronics, Inc.

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Velocimeter

Odom Hydrographic Systems, Inc.

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Correcting echo sounding


measurements for sound speed
For a vertical beam echo sounding:
Depth:

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ct
Z
2

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SOUND SPEED VARIES WITH DEPTH

What sound speed


should we use
to convert travel time
to slant range?

From C. de Moustier

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An Example
0
Depth
(m)

100

200
1000

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2000

Speed of sound
(m/s)
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The simple average, or arithmetic mean:


Average sound speed :
(1000 m/s) (100 m) + (2000 m/s) (100 m) = 1500 m/s
(100 m) + (100 M)
n

Or, generalized for


multiple layers:

CA

c z
i 1
n

z i
i 1

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Testing, if we used the simple average:


The actual 2-way travel time through layer 1
would be 0.1 + 0.1 = 0.2 sec
The actual 2-way travel time through layer 2
would be .05 + .05 + 0.1 sec
The actual total 2-way travel time would be
0.3 sec
At an assumed sound speed of 1500 m/sec, the
reported depth would be (0.3 x 1500)/2, or 225
mclearly incorrect.
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The proper answer is the total distance traveled


divided by the total time:

100m

200m
100m

1000 m s

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1333.33 m
2000 m s

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Testing this answer:


The actual 2-way travel time through layer 1
would be 0.1 + 0.1 = 0.2 sec
The actual 2-way travel time through layer 2
would be .05 + .05 + 0.1 sec
The actual total 2-way travel time for both
layers would be 0.3 sec
At an assumed sound speed of 1333.33 m/sec,
the reported depth would be (0.3 x 1333.33)/2,
or 200 mclearly correct.
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The Harmonic Mean


The harmonic mean is defined as the
reciprocal of the arithmetic mean of the
reciprocals of a specified set of numbers.

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Harmonic Mean Sound Speed for these layers:

100

100
1000
2000
100 100

Or, generalizing for


multiple discreet layers of
constant sound speed:

0.1 .05

200

z

c

i 1

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.000751 1333.33

i 1

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Dividing the water column into


layers
We know the speed changes continuously
with depth, so we cant often choose layers
of constant speed
Choose layers in which the change in speed
(sound speed gradient) is uniform
To do that, pick inflection points on the the
speed of sound curve as layer boundaries
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Inflection Points

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After C. de Moustier

Harmonic Mean C for layer i


We know that the harmonic mean sound speed for a
layer i is the speed that is equal to the total distance
divided by the total time to pass through that layer.
Therefore:

zi 1 zi
C
ti
i
H

But we dont know ti


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We also know
the harmonic mean sound speed for multiple
layers of uniform sound speed

CH

i 1
n

ci

zi

i 1

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Integrating for a continuous profile of the


water column we get the harmonic mean
sound speed for the entire water column:

1 dZ
CH

Z
C
0

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Looking at a layer of constant gradient:

Sound Speed Gradient

ci 1 ci
gi
zi 1 zi
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Time in a layer with a constant


gradient
ti

zi 1

Zi

dz
i
C

Solving this integral:

1 ci 1

ti ln
g i ci
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This allows us to return to our original formula:

Harmonic Mean C for layer i

zi 1 zi
C
ti
i
H

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Setting up Correctors
For vertical beam echo sounding:

Make sound speed or CTD observations


For each observation point, compute sound speed
from CTD (if necessary)
Draw curve
Select layers
Compute harmonic mean and sound speed
correction for each layer
Plot cumulative corrections curve
Tabulate correctors at desired increment
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Setting up Correctors
Or,
Use output from Seabird, Odom into
program such as NOAAs VELOCIWIN.

Most sonar data acquisition systems have


an automated method for sound speed
profile entry.
But, make sure you understand what the
program is doing!
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