Modal analysis of the range evolution of broadband wavefields in the North Pacific Ocean: Low mode numbers
The results of mode-processing measurements of broadband acoustic wavefields made in the fall of 2004 as part of the Long-Range Ocean Acoustic Propagation Experiment (LOAPEX) in the eastern North Pacific Ocean are reported here. Transient wavefields in the 50–90 Hz band that were recorded on a 1400 -m long 40 element vertical array centered near the sound channel axis are analyzed. This array was designed to resolve low-order modes. The wavefields were excited by a ship-suspended source at seven ranges, between approximately 50 and 3200 km, from the receiving array. The range evolution of broadband modal arrival patterns corresponding to fixed mode numbers (“modal group arrivals”) is analyzed with an emphasis on the second (variance) and third (skewness) moments. A theory of modal group time spreads is described, emphasizing complexities associated with energy scattering among low-order modes. The temporal structure of measured modal group arrivals is compared to theoretical predictions and numerical simulations. Theory, simulations, and observations generally agree. In cases where disagreement is observed, the reasons for the disagreement are discussed in terms of the underlying physical processes and data limitations.