Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Seismic imaging of the upper ocean



In recent years, seismic imaging has become a commonly used method to observe fine-scale ocean structures. In this technique, sound waves are generated and reflected off oceanographic structures such as the thermocline, the layer separating warm surface waters from colder, deeper waters. The reflectivity of the thermocline is determined by its thickness and the temperature difference between the warm surface water and colder layers below; by examining the properties of the reflected sound waves, scientists can get a picture of the thermocline structure.