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An Introduction to Underwater Acoustics

Principles and Applications

  • Book
  • © 2010
  • Latest edition


  • Outlines the basic physical phenomena governing underwater acoustical waves, including propagation, reflection, target scattering and noise in a rigorous and standardized mathematical framework
  • Gives general features of sonar systems: transducers, arrays, signal processing and performance evaluation
  • Provides an overview of different underwater acoustic systems and their practical applications
  • Includes supplementary material:

Part of the book series: Springer Praxis Books (PRAXIS)

Part of the book sub series: Geophysical Sciences (GEOPHYS)

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About this book

Sound waves are the only practical means of remote investigation of the sea and its bottom and transmission in seawater. Underwater acoustics has become one of the major technologies used in the exploration and exploitation of the oceans for scientific, industrial, or military/naval purposes. It is widely employed in the fields of ocean engineering, seafloor mapping, defence, oceanography, navigation, and fisheries.

Dr Xavier Lurton is a renowned specialist in underwater acoustics. He has worked in this field as a scientist, engineer, project manager and teacher since 1981 and has participated in many scientific projects, systems developments and at-sea cruises. In the second edition of his book, Dr Lurton provides an updated and extended introduction to underwater acoustics, including coverage of the physical processes and their basic modeling, different underwater acoustic systems and their practical applications and a description and assessment of the various technologies. Dr Lurton has extensive experience as a lecturer in undergraduate and postgraduate schools, including naval academies. This book is based on his direct, first-hand experience of the many aspects of underwater acoustics in seas around the world, at the forefront of current research and development efforts.


  • Marine Geology
  • Marine Technology
  • Navigation
  • Ocean
  • Oceanography
  • Underwater Sound
  • Wave
  • marine


From the reviews:

"Presented in a clear and concise way as an introductory text and practical handbook, the book provides the basic physical phenomena governing underwater acoustical waves, propagation, reflection, target backscattering and noise. … It provides an overview of today’s applications, presenting the working principles of the various systems." (Oceanis, Vol. 27 (3-4), 2003)

"This book is a general survey of Underwater Acoustics, intended to make the subject ‘as easily accessible as possible, with a clear emphasis on applications.’ In this the author has succeeded, with a wide variety of subjects presented with minimal derivation … . There is an emphasis on technology and on intuitive physical explanation … ." (Darrell R. Jackson, Journal of the Acoustic Society of America, Vol. 115 (2), February, 2004)

"This is an exciting new scientific publication. It is timely and welcome … . Furthermore, it is up to date and readable. It is well researched, excellently published and ranks with earlier books in this discipline … . Many persons in the marine science field including acousticians, hydrographers, oceanographers, fisheries scientists, engineers, educators, students … and equipment manufacturers will benefit greatly by reading all or part of this text. The author is to be congratulated on his fine contribution … ." (Stephen B. MacPhee, International Hydrographic Review, Vol. 4 (2), 2003)

From the reviews of the second edition:

“This textbook is a good overview of most of the aspects of underwater acoustics. … it also includes a comprehensive list of references for those who want to delve deeper into any of the underwater acoustic topics. Overall the book is a good first textbook and first reference. It can be an effective textbook for an underwater acoustics elective course and will make a good reference for engineers who occasionally have to answer question or deal withissues related to underwater acoustics.” (J. M. Cuschieri, Noise Control Engineering Journal, Vol. 59 (1), January-February, 2011)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Labo. Microbiologie et Biotechnologie Extremophiles (LMBE), IFREMER, Centre de Brest Dépt. Valorisation des Produits (VP), Plouzane, France

    Xavier Lurton

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: An Introduction to Underwater Acoustics

  • Book Subtitle: Principles and Applications

  • Authors: Xavier Lurton

  • Series Title: Springer Praxis Books

  • Publisher: Springer Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Copyright Information: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-540-78480-7Published: 05 September 2010

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-662-49969-6Published: 23 August 2016

  • Edition Number: 2

  • Number of Pages: XXXVI, 680

  • Additional Information: Jointly published with Praxis Publishing, UK

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