Chapter 4

Absorption of Sound in Seawater

T.H. Neighbors III      Leidos Corporation (Retired), Bellevue, WA, United States


This chapter discusses the absorption of sound in seawater and its dependence upon factors, such as salinity, temperature, pH, and pressure. A key mechanism is the molecular chemical relaxation process associated with magnesium sulfate (MgSO4), and boric acid (B(OH)3) in seawater. From a few hundred hertz to a few kilohertz the boric acid molecular chemical relaxation appears to be the dominant source of observed absorption, while above a few kilohertz magnesium sulfate chemical relaxation appears to dominate. Selected experimental results from data collected over the past few decades in field and laboratory experiments ...

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