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Estimation and correction for the effect of sound velocity variation on GPS/Acoustic seafloor positioning: An experiment off Hawaii Island

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Abstract

A GPS/Acoustic experiment on the southeastern slope of Hawaii Island presented precise seafloor positioning in the condition of large water depth (2.5—4.5 km) and large velocity variations. We estimated sound velocity variations from acoustic ranging, and found that temperature variation can well explain the velocity variation. The effect of daily variation in the sound velocity amounted to +/- 0.7 m on acoustic ranging of 4—7 km with a fixed velocity structure. CTD data observed about every 3 hours could decrease the range residuals to +/- 0.4 m. These large residuals were fairly well canceled in the positioning of the array center of three acoustic transponders. The estimated precision of the array center positioning was about 3 cm in latitude and longitude.

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Correspondence to Yukihito Osada.

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Osada, Y., Fujimoto, H., Miura, S. et al. Estimation and correction for the effect of sound velocity variation on GPS/Acoustic seafloor positioning: An experiment off Hawaii Island. Earth Planet Sp 55, e17–e20 (2003) doi:10.1186/BF03352464

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Key words

  • GPS/Acoustic
  • seafloor positioning
  • acoustic ranging
  • sound velocity
  • Hawaii Island