Wave-wave interactions and the infrasonic pressure field in the ocean
Building on Kibblewhite's long term investigations of the nonlinear wave-wave interactions and the infrasonic ocean noise and the microseisms these induce, this thesis further explores the physical nature of these processes. The classical description of this interaction, which takes into account only the homogeneous component of the induced field, has been extended to include the inhomogeneous component. A complete expression for the wave induced noise spectrum is established following a geometrical analysis of the dispersion relations among interacting waves. The relative importance of these two components and their directivity properties are also calculated and discussed. It is shown that while at observation points deeper than 500 meters the effects of the inhomogeneous component can be regarded as negligible, it can cause an increase of noise level of up to 40 dB in the region near the surface of the sea. Furthermore, in contrast to the nearly omni-directional distribution of the homogeneous component of the induced acoustic field, there is a tendency for the energy associated with the inhomogeneous component to focus in the wind direction. Based upon a multilayer analysis of a visco-elastic geoacoustic model, Green's functions and the spectral transfer functions relating the surface source pressure field to the underwater noise and microseism fields are derived for both near and far field cases. A 3-dimensional presentation defined on the dispersion plane (frequency and horizontal wave number) is introduced to describe the sea bottom reflection-loss and, Green's functions, and is extended to include the inhomogeneous region for the first time. The characteristics of this 3-D presentation are explained in terms of the geoacoustic parameters. The influence of the interaction of multiple seas (and swell) on the induced acoustic field are also discussed in this thesis. All these effects are considered in the calculation of the synthetic spectra of both the noise and microseism field. When compared with measured data excellent agreement is found between the theoretical and experimental results, which provides further confirmation that the nonlinear interaction is the most important source of the infrasonic ocean noise, as well as confirming the basic validity of the procedure introduced by Kibblewhite and Ewans to derive the ocean noise spectra from microseism records.