Detection and classification of buried objects is of great importance in underwater counterterrorism and archaeology. To penetrate the sediment, a low frequency intensive acoustic source is needed. Underwater plasma acoustic source (UPAS) with high voltage discharge has the advantage of adjustable pulse length, high source level output and no pollution to the environment, which can satisfy these needs. In this paper, we introduced the UPAS, including its basic mechanism, structure and pressure output. Then we build up an elastic wave propagation model, solved it with finite difference and staggered grid methods, and combined with certain source and boundary condition, we simulated and analyzed the pressure wave propagation in time domain with an aluminum cylinder buried in sediment, from the results we validated the effectiveness of UPAS in the application of buried object detection.