Skip to Main Content
A study to investigate the use of the acoustic vector field, separately or in combination with the scalar field, to invert for geoacoustic properties of the seafloor was conducted. The analysis was performed in the context of the 2004 Sediment Acoustics Experiment (SAX04) conducted in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) where a small number of acoustic vector sensors were deployed in close proximity to the seafloor. The acoustic vector sensors were located both above and beneath the seafloor interface where they measured the acoustic pressure and the acoustic particle acceleration. A variety of acoustic waveforms were transmitted into the seafloor at normal incidence. Motion data provided by the buried vector sensors were affected by a suspension response that was sensitive to the mass properties of the sensor, the sediment density, and shear wave speed. The suspension response for the buried vector sensors included a resonance within the analysis band of 0.4-2.0 kHz. The response was sufficiently sensitive to the local geoacoustic properties, that it was integrated into the inverse methods developed for this study. Inversions of real and synthetic data sets showed that information about sediment shear wave speed was carried by the suspension response of the buried sensors, as opposed to being contained inherently within the vector acoustic field.