Measuring and modeling the bubble population produced by an underwater explosion

Fred D. Holt IV, R. Lee Culver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Underwater explosions have been studied intensively in the United States since 1941 [e.g., R. H. Cole, Underwater Explosions (Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1945), pp. 3-13]. Research to date has primarily focused on the initial shock and subsequent pressure waves caused by the oscillations of the gas-globe resulting from charge detonation. These phenomena have relatively short timescales (typically less than 2 s). However, after the gas-globe rises through the water column and breaks the surface, there remains behind a cloud of bubbles and perhaps debris from the explosion container which has been markedly less studied. A recent experiment measured the spatial and temporal acoustic response of the bubble cloud resulting from a 13.6 kg PBXN-111 charge detonated at 15.2 m (50 ft) depth. A directional projector was used to propagate linear frequency-modulated (5-65 kHz) and 40 kHz tonal pulses through the bubble cloud. Two hydrophone arrays were positioned so as to measure the energy lost in propagating through the bubble cloud. Three methods have been utilized to invert measurements and estimate the bubble population. The bubble population estimates have been used to develop a model for the bubble population resulting from an underwater explosion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3309-3320
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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