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Using matched-field processing to estimate shallow-water bottom properties from shot data taken in the Mediterranean Sea

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1 Author(s)
Tolstoy, A. ; Integrated Performance Decisions, Honolulu, HI, USA

It is extremely difficult to determine shallow ocean bottom properties (such as sediment layer thicknesses, densities, and sound speeds). However, when acoustic propagation is affected by such environmental parameters, it becomes possible to use acoustic energy as a probe to estimate them. Matched-field processing (MFP) which relies on both field amplitude and phase can be used as a basis for the inversion of experimental data to estimate bottom properties. Recent inversion efforts applied to a data set collected in October 1993 in the Mediterranean Sea north of Elba produce major improvements in MFP power, i.e., in matching the measured field by means of a model using environmental parameters as inputs, even using the high-resolution minimum variance (MV) processor that is notoriously sensitive and usually results in very low values. The inversion method applied to this data set estimates water depth, sediment thickness, density, and a linear sound-speed profile for the first layer, density and a linear sound-speed profile for a second layer, constant sound speed for the underlying half space, array depth, and source range and depth. When the inversion technique allows for the array deformations in range as additional parameters (to be estimated within fractions of a wavelength, e.g., 0.1 m), the MFP MV peak value for the Med data at 100 Hz can increase from 0.48 (using improved estimates of environmental parameters and assuming a vertical line array) to 0.68 (using improved estimates of environmental parameters PLUS improved phone coordinates). The ideal maximum value would be 1.00 (which is achieved for the less sensitive Linear processor). However, many questions remain concerning the reliability of these inversion results and of inversion methods in general

Published in:

Oceanic Engineering, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 4 )