Sediments in the East China Sea

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This paper describes measurements of sediments during the 2000-2001 Asian Seas International Acoustic Experiment in the East China Sea. A number of techniques were used to infer properties of these sediments, including gravity and piston cores, subbottom profiling using a water gun, long-range sediment tomography, and in situ measurement of conductivity. Historical data from echosounder records and cores showed two regions of surficial sediments in the experimental area: a silty area to the west and a sandy area to the east. The tomography, cores, and water-gun measurements confirm the two surficial sediment regions seen in the historical data and also indicate that the subbottom structure at the experimental site consists of a thin (0-3 m thick) layer of sandy sediment directly beneath the sea floor. Below this layer, there is an extensive package of sediment with relatively uniform acoustic attributes. Core analysis shows that the surface sediment layer varies in compressional wave speed from a low near 1600 m/s in the west side of the experiment area to 1660 m/s in the east side of the experiment area. Long-range sediment tomography inversions show a similar spatial variation in the surface layer properties. In addition, the layer thickness as determined from tomography is consistent with the estimates from subbottom profiling. © 2004 IEEE.

Publication Title

IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering