This work presents a numerical study on atmospheric sound propagation over rough water surfaces with the aim of improving predictions of sound propagation over long distances. A method for generating pseudorandom sea profiles consistent with sea wave spectra is presented. The proposed method is suited for capturing the logarithmic nature of the energy distribution of the waves. Sea profiles representing fully developed seas for sea states 2, 3, 4, and 5 are generated from the Elfouhaily et al. (ECKV) sea wave spectra. Excess attenuation caused by refraction and surface roughness is predicted with a parabolic equation (PE) solver. A novel method for estimating equivalent effective impedance based on PE predictions at different sea states is presented. Parametric expressions using acoustic frequency and significant wave height are developed for effective surface impedances. In this work, sea surface roughness is on a scale comparable with the acoustic wavelength. Under this condition, the acoustic scattering is primarily incoherent. This work shows the limitations of using an equivalent surface impedance in such incoherent scattering cases.

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