Francis C. Felizardo
R. M. Parsons Lab., MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139
W. Kendall Melville
Scripps Inst. of Oceanogr., U.C.S.D., La Jolla, CA 92093-0213
An experiment that measured the NSL between 2 to 25 kHz, the wind speed U, and the directional wave spectrum was conducted off the coast of Oregon to examine the correlation between the ambient noise spectrum level (NSL) and surface wave parameters. These measurements show that although the correlation between the ambient NSL and the rms wave height is poor, the NSL and wave height spectrum energy levels at frequencies somewhat higher than the spectral peak give correlation coefficients that are comparable to that between the well-known correlation between U and NSL. Estimates of wave energy dissipation due to breaking waves using models proposed by Komen et al. [J. Phys. Ocean. 14, 1271--1285 (1984)] and Phillips [J. Fluid Mech. 156, 505--531 (1985)] likewise give comparable correlation coefficients. These results are consistent with the laboratory experiments [M. R. Loewen and W. K. Melville, J. Fluid Mech. 224, 601--623 (1991)] which show that the energy dissipated by wave breaking scales with the acoustic energy radiated. The implications of these results for acoustic remote sensing of breaking waves and associated processes of air--sea interaction are discussed.