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Pitter-patter patterns.

Pitter-patter patterns

Rain falling on ocean surfaces generates characteristic noises that alter the spectrum of sounds usually encountered underwater (SN: 1/4/86, p.4). Now H.C. Pumphrey of the University of Mississippi in University offers an explanation for how this noise is produced. He suggests that the noise is created by oscillations of bubbles generated by the impact of raindrops of a certain size.

Pumphrey first studied the sound produced by a single drop striking a liquid surface. He found that the sound consisted of a sharp spike emitted when the drop first strikes the surface and then a decaying wave emitted when an air bubble is formed. By gently spraying water onto a large tank, he found that he could produce a noise spectrum similar to that observed for ocean rainfall. The addition of a surfactant to lower the water's surface tension stopped bubble production, and the main spectral peak seen in typical rainfall noise disappeared.
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Title Annotation:research on ocean noise caused by rainfall
Publication:Science News
Date:Dec 12, 1987
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