Model selection and Bayesian inference for high-resolution seabed reflection inversion

Jan Dettmer, Stan E. Dosso, Charles W. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


This paper applies Bayesian inference, including model selection and posterior parameter inference, to inversion of seabed reflection data to resolve sediment structure at a spatial scale below the pulse length of the acoustic source. A practical approach to model selection is used, employing the Bayesian information criterion to decide on the number of sediment layers needed to sufficiently fit the data while satisfying parsimony to avoid overparametrization. Posterior parameter inference is carried out using an efficient Metropolis-Hastings algorithm for high-dimensional models, and results are presented as marginal-probability depth distributions for sound velocity, density, and attenuation. The approach is applied to plane-wave reflection-coefficient inversion of single-bounce data collected on the Malta Plateau, Mediterranean Sea, which indicate complex fine structure close to the water-sediment interface. This fine structure is resolved in the geoacoustic inversion results in terms of four layers within the upper meter of sediments. The inversion results are in good agreement with parameter estimates from a gravity core taken at the experiment site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)706-716
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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