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Ocean acoustic tomography

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Ocean acoustic tomography (OAT) is a method proposed by Munk and Wunsch (1979) to observe the ocean using acoustic transmissions. Although the ocean is nearly opaque to most electromagnetic radiation, acoustic waves propagate well, and low frequencies (less than 100 Hz) can propagate usefully for more than 10 megameters (Munk, Worcester, and Wunsch, 1995). The term "tomography" was chosen to highlight the analogy to medical computed axial tomography (CAT), although because ocean instrumentation and access are expensive, the number of data available in OAT has been far smaller than in medical applications. For this reason, the reconstruction of the unknown field depends critically on utilizing all information, including prior guesses of first and second moment statistics of the data and unknowns and, in some cases, dynamical models of the ocean.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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