Target Strength Measurements of Spherical and Wobbly Bubbles

TitleTarget Strength Measurements of Spherical and Wobbly Bubbles
Publication TypeConference Abstract
Year2019
AuthorsPadilla, AM, Weber, TC
Conference Name177th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America
Conference LocationLouisville, KY
Conference DatesMay 13-17
KeywordsAcoustic Scattering; Gas Bubbles;

Methane gas bubbles released from the seafloor transport gas upwards through the water column and in some cases even to the atmosphere. Researchers exploit the large acoustic impedance contrast between the gas within the bubble and the surrounding water to acoustically estimate the flux of methane in the ocean. Flux estimation employs the use of analytical acoustic scattering models to convert acoustic backscatter measurements of gas bubbles to size estimates. However, these models assume that bubbles are both spherical and that their radius is much smaller than the acoustic wavelength (ka << 1). Typically, bubbles in the ocean range from 1-5 mm in radius, are non-spherical in shape and are observed for ka values that are greater than 0.1. A controlled shallow water tank (< 6 m) experiment was conducted to assess the uncertainty associated with using analytical models that assume bubbles are spherical and that ka values are much smaller than one. Small, spherical and large, wobbly gas bubbles (radii ranging from 0.7-4.5 mm) were ensonified over a broad range of frequencies (10-250 kHz) in order to observe ka values from 0.1-5.

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