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Darrell Jackson

Principal Engineer Emeritus

Research Professor Emeritus, Electrical Engineering






Darrell Jackson is engaged in theoretical and experimental research in ocean acoustics. This includes random scattering in the ocean, acoustic remote sensing of the ocean bottom, and related signal processing methods.

Department Affiliation



B.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Washington, 1960

M.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Washington, 1963

Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, University of Washington, 1966

Ph.D. Physics, California Institute of Technology, 1977


2000-present and while at APL-UW

A time-domain model for seafloor scattering

Tang, D., and D. Jackson, "A time-domain model for seafloor scattering," J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 142, 2968-2978, doi:10.1121/1.5009932, 2017.

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1 Nov 2017

Bottom scattering is important for a number of underwater applications: it is a source of noise in target detection and a source of information for sediment classification and geoacoustic inversion. While current models can predict the effective interface scattering strength for layered sediments, these models cannot directly compute the ensemble averaged mean-square pressure. A model for bottom scattering due to a point source is introduced which provides a full-wave solution for mean-square scattered pressure as a function of time under first-order perturbation theory. Examples of backscatter time series from various types of seafloors will be shown, and the advantages and limitations of this model will be discussed.

The path to COVIS: A review of acoustic imaging of hydrothermal flow regimes

Bemis, K.G., D. Silver, G. Xu, R. Light, D. Jackson, C. Jones, S. Ozer, and L. Liu, "The path to COVIS: A review of acoustic imaging of hydrothermal flow regimes," Deep Sea Res. II, 121, 159-176, doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.06.002, 2015.

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1 Nov 2015

Acoustic imaging of hydrothermal flow regimes started with the incidental recognition of a plume on a routine sonar scan for obstacles in the path of the human-occupied submersible ALVIN. Developments in sonar engineering, acoustic data processing and scientific visualization have been combined to develop technology which can effectively capture the behavior of focused and diffuse hydrothermal discharge. This paper traces the development of these acoustic imaging techniques for hydrothermal flow regimes from their conception through to the development of the Cabled Observatory Vent Imaging Sonar (COVIS). COVIS has monitored such flow eight times a day for several years. Successful acoustic techniques for estimating plume entrainment, bending, vertical rise, volume flux, and heat flux are presented as is the state-of-the-art in diffuse flow detection.

Time-series measurements of hydrothermal heat flux at the Grotto mound, Endeavor Segment, Juan de Fuca Ridge

Xu, G., D.R. Jackson, K.G. Bemis, and P.A. Rona, "Time-series measurements of hydrothermal heat flux at the Grotto mound, Endeavor Segment, Juan de Fuca Ridge," Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 404, 220-231, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2014.07.040, 2014.

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15 Oct 2014

Continuous time-series observations are key to understanding the temporal evolution of a seafloor hydrothermal system and its interplay with thermal and chemical processes in the ocean and Earth interior. In this paper, we present a 26-month time series of the heat flux driving a hydrothermal plume on the Endeavour Segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge obtained using the Cabled Observatory Vent Imaging Sonar (COVIS). Since 2010, COVIS has been connected to the North East Pacific Time-series Underwater Networked Experiment (NEPTUNE) observatory that provides power and real-time data transmission. The heat flux time series has a mean value of 18.10 MW and a standard deviation of 6.44 MW. The time series has no significant global trend, suggesting the hydrothermal heat source remained steady during the observation period. The steadiness of the hydrothermal heat source coincides with reduced seismic activity at Endeavour observed in the seismic data recorded by an ocean bottom seismometer from 2011 to 2013. Furthermore, first-order estimation of heat flux based on the temperature measurements made by the Benthic and Resistivity Sensors (BARS) at a neighboring vent also supports the steadiness of the hydrothermal heat source.

More Publications

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center