Scattering statistics of rock outcrops: Model-data comparisons and Bayesian inference using mixture distributions

Derek R. Olson, Anthony P. Lyons, Douglas A. Abraham, Torstein O. Sbø

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The probability density function of the acoustic field amplitude scattered by the seafloor was measured in a rocky environment off the coast of Norway using a synthetic aperture sonar system, and is reported here in terms of the probability of false alarm. Interpretation of the measurements focused on finding the appropriate class of statistical models (single versus two-component mixture models), and on appropriate models within these two classes. It was found that two-component mixture models performed better than single models. The two mixture models that performed the best (and had a basis in the physics of scattering) were a mixture between two K distributions, and a mixture between a Rayleigh and generalized Pareto distribution. Bayes' theorem was used to estimate the probability density function of the mixture model parameters. It was found that the K-K mixture exhibits a significant correlation between its parameters. The mixture between the Rayleigh and generalized Pareto distributions also had a significant parameter correlation, but also contained multiple modes. It is concluded that the mixture between two K distributions is the most applicable to this dataset.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)761-774
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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