Depth-dependent geoacoustic inferences with dispersion at the new England mud patch via reflection coefficient inversion

Josee Belcourt, Charles W. Holland, Stan E. Dosso, Jan Dettmer, John A. Goff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Depth-dependent geoacoustic properties are inferred from wide-angle frequency-domain reflection-coefficient data at two sites with different mud-layer thicknesses on the New England Mud Patch. A trans-dimensional Bayesian inversion is employed to estimate geoacoustic properties and uncertainties from these data using the viscous grain shearing sediment model and spherical-wave reflection-coefficient predictions. Results near the thick-mud (SWAMI) site show a nearly uniform sound velocity over the upper approximately 9.2 m, followed by a transition layer with velocity increasing nonlinearly by ~280 m/s over 1.8 m. At the thin-sediment (VC31-2) site, the velocity profile exhibits a similar transition layer. Estimates of intrinsic velocity and attenuation dispersion are also obtained. Over the measurement band of about 400-1300 Hz, the velocity in the fine-grained sediments (mud) at both sites varies by only a few meters per second, i.e., velocity is nearly independent of frequency. The attenuation of the fine-grained sediments at both sites follows a nearly linear frequency dependence. The geoacoustic inferences compare reasonably closely with independent measurements including core measurements, chirp-reflection data, and angle of intromission data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8669877
Pages (from-to)69-91
Number of pages23
JournalIEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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