A study was conducted to investigate the impacts of various ocean surface wave effects on ray path arrival times between an acoustic source and receiver. Observations collected during 2003 showed arrival time variations up to 6 ms over ∼30 s intervals. Numerical experiments were performed to see if these variations could be accounted for by wave-induced background currents, the Doppler effect resulting from surface motion due to waves, and changes in path lengths due to sea level variations due to waves. The simulations gave maximum impacts on travel times of < 1 ms. The Doppler effect was quite small, with the effect of the wave-induced currents at times being ∼3 times larger than the Doppler effect. The greatest effect on travel times was the change in path length due to wave-induced sea level changes. The work suggests that the larger observed arrival time variations are a result of some phenomenon that occasionally masks ray paths between a source and receiver. Based on the numerical experiments and observations, a paradigm is put forward to best determine arrival times.

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