Depth-dependent target strengths of gadoids by the boundary-element method
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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The depth dependence of fish target strength has mostly eluded experimental investigation because of the need to distinguish it from depth-dependent behavioral effects, which may change the orientation distribution. The boundary-element method (BEM) offers an avenue of approach. Based on detailed morphometric data on 15 gadoid swimbladders, the BEM has been exercised to determine how the orientation dependence of target strength changes with pressure under the assumption that the fish swimbladder remains constant in shape and volume. The backscattering cross section has been computed at a nominal frequency of 38 kHz as a function of orientation for each of three pressures: 1, 11, and 51 atm. Increased variability in target strength and more abundant and stronger resonances are both observed with increasing depth. The respective backscattering cross sections have been averaged with respect to each of four normal distributions of tilt angle, and the corresponding target strengths have been regressed on the logarithm of fish length. The tilt-angle-averaged backscattering cross sections at the highest pressure have also been averaged with respect to frequency over a 2-kHz band for representative conditions of insonification. For all averaging methods, the mean target strength changes only slightly with depth.
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