Definition of acoustic shadow
: an area where sounds from a nearby source that should normally be audible cannot be heard because of an unusual combination of factors (such as topography and wind) During the American Civil War, observers noted a curious fact: the sounds of a battle, clearly distinguishable at ten miles, could be utterly inaudible at two. These weird wrinkles in the landscape were called “acoustic shadows.”— Mark Slouka, Harper’s, June 2000
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