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Determination of Ice Thickness on Lakes and Canals Using Audio Sound

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The objective of this study is to determine the thickness of ice on lakes and canals by analyzing the sound spectrum generated by dispersion of Lamb type waves propagating in ice. In winters when the lakes and canals freeze, it is important to know the thickness of the ice layer before setting foot on it. When a stone is thrown on the ice layer, a fluting sound can be heard. This is recorded for different thicknesses of ice and the sound spectrum is compared with the results simulated using a parameterized model created using plane wave theory for different thicknesses of ice. The frequencies of the reflected sound are then compared with the frequencies of musical instruments in order to assign different musical notes to different thicknesses of ice. It is found that the piano key E4 indicates the ice thickness safe for walking. Any higher key indicates an unsafe situation. The technique enables thickness estimation without the use of specialized equipment or time consuming drilling and may therefore be of practical value in the preservation of the lives of ice skaters and playing children.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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