# Quick question: speed of sound in seawater

• mikefitz
In summary, dolphins emit ultrasonic waves with a frequency of 5.5 x 10^5Hz. To calculate the wavelength of these waves in seawater at 25°C, the speed of sound in seawater at that temperature is needed. While the speed at 20°C is 1482m/s, the correct value for 25°C is 1533 m/s. This can be used to calculate the wavelength, which is approximately 2.835mm. Some additional information about the sound channel in the ocean and its use for communication is also mentioned.
mikefitz
Dolphins emit ultrasonic waves with a frequency as high as 5.5 x 10^5Hz. What is the wavelength of such a wave in seawater at 25°C?

i know how to solve this one, all i need is the speed of sound waves in seawater at 25 degrees Celsius. My teacher gave us the speed in water at 20C which = 1482m/s. I tried using 1482 in my equation, but obviously it didn't work; google offered me little insight. Do any of you know the velocity I'm looking for? Thanks

Giancoli gives it as 1560 m/s at 20 oC.

Is there a formula I can use to calculate the speed of sound in various liquids/materials?

Update: Here is my work for this problem;

f=5.5x10^5 Hz
Vsound in seawater=1560m/s

wavelength=v/f
=> 1560/5.5x10^5 = .0028364m
=> 2.835mm

Is this correct?

It looks right. of interest, have you ever heard of the sound channel? It exists in the ocean, it is a zone of low velocity bounded vertically by water of higher velocity. By refraction (Snell's law) sound does not escape the channel and can travel great distances without attenuating. Whales communicate via the sound channel as did humans in submarines back in the old days.

hmm, this one is bumming me out because I attempt to enter my calculated value into the online homework submission and I'm told my answer is incorrect. Everything looks correct doesn't it?

I know this is kind of late, but the speed of sound in seawater at 25 deg. C is 1533 m/s for anyone else who needs it. I hate when you have to do those online homeworks and you might not have these values to solve them ('cuz you didn't want to buy a \$200 book for no reason)!

## 1. What is the speed of sound in seawater?

The speed of sound in seawater depends on various factors such as temperature, salinity, and depth. On average, the speed of sound in seawater is around 1,500 meters per second.

## 2. How does the speed of sound in seawater compare to the speed of sound in air?

The speed of sound in seawater is much faster than in air. This is because seawater is denser and more compressible than air, allowing sound waves to travel more quickly.

## 3. Does the speed of sound in seawater change with depth?

Yes, the speed of sound in seawater increases with depth. This is because the pressure and temperature of seawater also increase with depth, which affects the speed of sound.

## 4. Can the speed of sound in seawater be affected by other factors?

Yes, the speed of sound in seawater can also be affected by the composition of the water, such as the presence of gases or suspended particles. These can cause slight variations in the speed of sound.

## 5. Why is it important to know the speed of sound in seawater?

The speed of sound in seawater is important for a variety of purposes, such as underwater communication, sonar operations, and oceanographic research. Understanding the speed of sound in seawater can also help in determining the depth and composition of the ocean floor.

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