Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Underwater noise caused by precipitation

Abstract

The characteristics of underwater noise in the ocean generated by precipitation are important to weather forecasters and oceanographers because they permit the detection and measurement of rain over the oceans by remote (buoyed or bottom-mounted) acoustic sensors. We have recently observed the chracteristics of the underwater noise generated by rain, hail and snow. The spectrum of rain noise, for wind speeds below 1.5 m s−1, shows a peak at 13.5 kHz with a sharp cutoff on the low-frequency side and a gradual fall-off (7 dB per octave) on the high-frequency side. Stronger winds smear the peak. Hail spectra show a peak at 3.0 kHz with a gradual (roughly 11 dB per octave) fall-off on both sides. The spectrum of snow noise is unique. Our instrumentation permitted the measurement of the drop (or stone) size distributions in the precipitation. These findings will enhance the art of remote acoustic sensing in oceanography.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type

from$1.95

to$39.95

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

References

  1. Wenz, G. W. J. acoust. Soc. Am. 34, 1936–1956 (1962); 51, 1010–1024 (1972).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. Arase, E. M. & Arase, T. J. acoust. Soc. Am. 42, 73–77 (1967); 44, 1679—1684 (1968).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  3. Perrone, A. J. J. acoust. Soc. Am. 48, 362–370 (1970); 46, 762–770 (1969).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  4. Scrimger, J. A. Nature 243, 79–81 (1973).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  5. Shaw, P. T., Watts, D. R. & Rossby, H. T. Deep Sea Res. 25, 1225–1233 (1978).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  6. Lemon, D. D., Farmer, D. M. & Watts, D. R. J. geophys. Res. 89, 3462–3472 (1984).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  7. Franz, G. J. J. acoust. Soc. Am. 31 B, 1080–1096 (1959).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  8. Heindsmann, T. E., Smith, R. H. & Arneson, A. D. J. acoust. Soc. Am. 27, 378–379 (1955).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  9. Bom, N. J. acoust. Soc. Am. 45, 150–156 (1969).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  10. Nystuen, J. A. thesis, University of California, San Diego (1985).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Scrimger, J. Underwater noise caused by precipitation. Nature 318, 647–649 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1038/318647a0

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/318647a0

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing