An analysis of 3.5 kHz acoustic reflections and sediment physical properties

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Near-bottom normal incidence acoustic reflection data and sediment physical property data are used to study the relationships between acoustic reflections and sediment physical properties. A pinger-hydrophone experiment was performed to obtain the necessary acoustic reflection data. In addition, a standard piston core was retrieved in the acoustic survey area for physical property analysis. The piston core was sampled and 13 properties were measured at 55 locations within the top 12 m of the core. Correlation studies amongst the sediment physical properties resulted in the following strong correlations: acoustic impedance (Z) and porosity (N), (0.96); water content (WC) and Z, (0.95); bulk density (BD) and Z, (0.99). The empirical orthonormal function (EOF) method was employed for acoustic signal analysis. This method assumes no a-priori models of the sediment or causality. The EOF method reduced the acoustic data to 8 functions that contained 97.6% of the sample variance. The EOFs were subsequently analysed by using cepstrum analysis which reveals time delay information and enhances detecting zones of reflectivity. The result of the sediment physical property and cepstrum analysis indicates that zones of reflectivity are essentially zones of relatively high acoustic impedance, low porosity, and low phi (high mean grain size). © 1985.

Publication Title

Ocean Engineering