The measurement of ocean acidity using the depth-dependence of ambient noise

The absorption of sound in seawater is due to the viscous and chemical relaxation of different compounds. Over the wind noise band of 1–10 kHz, the frequency dependence of the absorption is due to the mechanisms of chemical relaxation for magnesium sulfate (f > 3 kHz) and for boric acid (f 10 m/s), the ambient noise field is dominated by locally generated surface noise and has a depth-independent directionality and a weakly frequency and depth-dependent intensity, due to sound absorption. By comparing measurements with theory, estimates of ocean acidity can be made from the depth profiles of ambient noise.

Barclay D. R., 2019. The measurement of ocean acidity using the depth-dependence of ambient noise. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 145: 1654. doi: 10.1121/1.5101080.  Article (subscription required).


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