underwater dB

the relative unit used to specify the intensity of an underwater sound. The phrase underwater dB is used on DOSITS to indicate decibels computed using root-mean-square (rms) pressure unless otherwise indicated. Underwater dB are referenced to a pressure of 1 microPascal (µPa), which is abbreviated as dB re 1 µPa. To be able to compare relative intensities given in dB to one another, a standard reference intensity or reference pressure must always be used. Scientists have agreed to use 1 microPascal (µPa) as the reference pressure for underwater sound. In air, however, scientists have agreed to use a higher reference pressure of 20 microPascals. It is important to remember that sound intensity given in underwater dB is not the same as sound intensity given in air dB. See the Advanced Topics Introduction to Decibels and Introduction to Signal Levels for additional information.