The Tongue of the Ocean

CODEX Entry 3652: The Tongue of the Ocean


The Tongue of the Ocean (TOTO) is the name of a region of much deeper water in the Bahamas separating the islands of Andros and New Providence. The TOTO is a U-shaped, flat-bottomed trench, 30 by 240 kilometres in size. Its depth varies from 1km to 2km. Except for the northern ocean opening, the TOTO is surrounded by numerous islands, reefs, and shoals isolating it from ocean disturbances, particularly high ambient noise. Because of this, in 1959 the US Chief of Naval Operations established the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) to provide a deep water test facility for making underwater acoustic measurement, testing sonar, and providing accurate underwater, surface and air tracking data on ships and weapons for anti submarine research and development programs. A joint United States/United Kingdom Agreement signed in 1963 gave the Royal Navy equal access to the test facility.