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The inversion of broad-band low-frequency acoustic signals received on sparse arrays can lead to robust and efficient estimations of sea-bed properties. This paper describes a shallow-water geoacoustic inversion scheme based on the use of a model-based matched-impulse response on a single hydrophone. Results from the INTIMATE'96 experiment on the Portuguese shelf break are reviewed. In order to minimize the effects of strong time variability due to internal tides, only the time-stable waterborne bottom-surface reflected arrivals are exploited. A quasi-linear inversion algorithm is first applied to refine the geometry of the experiment. Then, inversion of bottom parameters is performed with an objective function that only makes use of the bottom-surface reflected arrivals' amplitudes. The experimental results show that broad-band transmissions (300-800 Hz) received on a single hydrophone, combined with the use of a simple eigenray code, are sufficient to correctly resolve geometrical parameters and bottom features. The analysis of the reflection coefficients both on simulated and real data helps to understand the validity of the inverted parameters and to derive the basis of an equivalent medium concept for geoacoustic inversion based on a "through-the-sensor" approach.