Interpretation of Sea Beam backscatter data collected at the Laurentian fan off Nova Scotia using acoustic backscatter theory

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The purpose is to use acoustic scattering theory and Sea Beam measurements to estimate seafloor roughness parameters. The Sea Beam backscatter data are from a test area in the Laurentian fan, a relatively flat region. Sidescan sonarlike images were reconstructed from the multibeam data. These images in the test area show two distinctly different types of areas (A) and (B). The backscatter model uses the Helmholtz-Kirchhoff formulation of scattering theory and correlation function C(r)=exp[—|r/l|n], where r is the displacement, I is the correlation length, and n is the exponent. A single rough interface model fits the backscatter data in (A). The root-mean-square roughness was 6-8 cm and the correlation lengths were 140-270 cm. The exponent n ranged from 0.95 to 1.5. The type (B) areas required a two-layer model: the interfaces in the first type of areas (A) is covered by a sediment having a smoother surface. The rms roughness of the covering sediments were about 3 cm, the exponent n was nearly 2 and correlation lengths I were 90-120 cm. These acoustic models are consistent with the geological setting and processes.© 1995, Acoustical Society of America. All rights reserved.

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Journal of the Acoustical Society of America