Wave theory is used to derive SOFAR signal shapes. Approximate analytical methods are not employed; the normal modes are obtained by direct numerical solution of the wave equation in measured oceanic velocity profiles. The dependence of signal shape on details of the velocity profile is demonstrated and anomalous signal shapes recorded in New Zealand waters are interpreted. The single zero‐order mode is found to dominate as an energy carrier; this could account for some of the fluctuations in signal strength observed in long‐range propagation trials.

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