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[mass noun] A system in which the sound waves from an underwater explosion are detected and located by three or more listening stations, useful in determining the position at sea of survivors of a disaster.
- ‘Listening in the SOFAR channel, scientists or naval personnel can record sounds whose source is thousands of kilometers away.’
- ‘In the SOFAR channel, low frequency waves may travel thousands of miles before weakening.’
- ‘Ewing and Worzel demonstrated that the SOFAR channel was capable of transmitting the low-frequency, long-wavelength sound waves produced by an explosion near the Bahama Islands to receivers stationed near the coast of Africa.’
1940s: from So(und) f(ixing) a(nd) r(anging).
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