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Hydroacoustics is a general term for the study and application of sound in water. The term comes from Greek υδρο, water, and ακουστική, acoustics. Hydroacoustics, utilizing SONAR technology, is most commonly used for detection, assessment, and monitoring of underwater physical and biological characteristics.

Hydroacoustics can be utilized to detect the depth of a water body (bathymetry), as well as the presence or absence, abundance, distribution, size, and behavior of underwater plants and animals. Hydroacoustic sensing involves "passive acoustics" (listening for sounds) or active acoustics making a sound and listening for the echo, hence the common name for the device, echo sounder or echosounder.

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