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Quantitative measurements of marine acoustic scattering from zooplanktonic organisms Beamish, Peter


The purposes of this research have been to determine a) the basic physical causes of acoustic scattering from zooplanktonic organisms and b) necessary criteria for future acoustic studies involving these animals. In situ measurements at 102 kHz have been made of the scattering of sound from a volumetric distribution of a zooplanktonic organism, the euphausiid. Quantitative information was recorded on analog magnetic tape and subsequently converted to digital form for analysis. Based on simultaneous measurements of side and back scattering from euphausiids and on a mathematical model, four-fifths of the scattered sound is considered to be caused by the compressibility contrast between the animals and the sea water. The remaining one-fifth is attributed to density contrast. Acoustic energy distribution curves are characteristic of the number and size of the animals contained in the small volume of the ocean that was studied. Acoustic counting of the animals gave results that compared favourably with simultaneous controlled net sampling. The back scattering cross-section of a typical euphausiid at 102 kHz has been found to be 1.4 x 10⁻⁴ cm² . Based on this value it is possible to predict the optimum frequency and intensity of incident sound for future acoustic studies involving these animals.

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