Spectral-Element Simulations of Acoustic Waves Induced by a Moving Underwater Source

S. F. Lloyd, C. Jeong, H. N. Gharti, J. Vignola, J. Tromp

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4 Scopus citations


In this study, we model acoustic waves induced by moving acoustic sources in three-dimensional (3D) underwater settings based on a spectral-element method (SEM). Numerical experiments are conducted using the SEM software package SPECFEM3D-Cartesian, which facilitates fluid-solid coupling and absorbing boundary conditions. Examples presented in this paper include an unbounded fluid truncated by using absorbing boundaries, and a shallow-water waveguide modeled as a fluid-solid coupled system based on domain decomposition. In the numerical experiments, the SEM-computed pressures match their analytical counterparts. SEM solutions of pressures at points behind and ahead of modeled moving acoustic sources show a frequency shift, i.e., a Doppler effect, which matches the analytical solution. This paper contributes to the field of passive sonar-based detection of moving acoustic sources, and addresses the challenge of computing wave responses generated by side-scan sonar by using moving sources of continuous signals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1850040
JournalJournal of Theoretical and Computational Acoustics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Doppler effect
  • Spectral-element method
  • moving underwater acoustic sources
  • underwater acoustic wave responses


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