Observations of acoustic noise bursts accompanying nonlinear internal gravity waves on the continental shelf off New Jersey

Boris G. Katsnelson, Oleg A. Godin, Qianchu Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anomalously large, transient fluctuations of acoustical noise intensity, up to 4-5 orders of magnitude above the background, were observed with single-hydrophone receiver units (SHRUs) and on the L-shaped horizontal and vertical line array of hydrophones (HVLA) in the Shallow Water 2006 experiment on the continental shelf off New Jersey. Here, temporal and spatial properties of these noise bursts are investigated. As tidally generated nonlinear internal waves (NIWs) move across the site of the experiment from the shelf break toward the coast, they form trains of localized, soliton-like waves with up to 25-35 m displacement of isopycnal surfaces. The NIW trains consecutively cross the positions of five SHRUs and HVLA that are located about 5-8 km from each other along a line perpendicular to the coast. The noise bursts were observed when a NIW train passed through locations of the corresponding acoustic receivers. Turbulence of the water flow, saltation, and bedload of marine sediments were the dominant causes of the acoustic noise bursts caused by NIWs at different frequency bands. On near-bottom hydrophones, the most energetic part of the observed noise bursts is attributed to collisions of suspended sediment particles with each other, the sensor, and the seafloor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1609-1622
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to A. Serebryany and an anonymous reviewer for their valuable comments, which helped us improve the manuscript. The SW’06 experiment was supported by the United States Office of Naval Research. The data used in this study were collected by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (2006). This work was supported by National Science Foundation Grant No. OCE1657430, Binational Science Foundation Grant No. 2016545, Office of Naval Research (ONR) Award No.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Acoustical Society of America.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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