Seabed reflection measurement uncertainty

Charles W. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The seabed reflection coefficient is a fundamental property of the ocean waveguide. Measurements of the frequency and angular dependence of the reflection coefficient can provide information about the geoacoustic properties of the seabed or can be used as an input to propagation models. The uncertainty of the measurements must be known in order to determine prediction uncertainties for the acoustic field and/or the geoacoustic properties. Analysis indicates that the reflection measurements have a standard deviation from ±0.5-1 dB at full angular resolution depending on frequency and experiment geometry. The dominant contribution to the error is source amplitude variability, and a new processing approach was developed that reduces the error for frequencies above a few hundred Hz. Further reduction in the uncertainty can be obtained by averaging in angle, for example, a ±1° angle averaging leads to a standard deviation of less than ±0.5 dB. Errors in the angle estimate are a few tenths of a degree from 0-34° grazing angle: the crucial angular range for predicting long-range propagation or for geoacoustic property inversion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1861-1873
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4 I
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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