Modal interferences are evident in the spectrogram of broadband signals propagated over distances and received on a single receiver. Plotted against range and frequency, the spectrogram displays striated bands of constant acoustic intensity levels as explained by the waveguide-invariant theory, the slope of which can be used to estimate the source range by the waveguide-invariant parameter “beta.” Given a vertical array of receivers, one finds, however, no frequency striation in the depth-integrated acoustic energy, as the total energy corrected for geometrical spreading remains “conserved” except for mode attenuations. When nonlinear solitary internal waves (SIWs) are present in the propagation path, one finds a different phenomenon: the depth-integrated energy will display striations with respect to time and frequency. In this case, the striation slope is related to the source-to-SIW range, and not the source-receiver range. The striation is caused predominantly by mode coupling (as opposed to mode interference), which changes the mode amplitudes as the SIWs move. Theory and simulations are developed in this paper. As an application, one can use the SIW-induced striations to monitor the positions (and wavefronts) of nonlinear internal waves on a continuous time basis. This method is evaluated using the SWARM95 experimental environment to address the real-world issues.
IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering 42(3), p.663–671