Seabed roughness parameters from joint backscatter and reflection inversion at the Malta Plateau

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This paper presents estimates of seabed roughness and geoacoustic parameters and uncertainties on the Malta Plateau, Mediterranean Sea, by joint Bayesian inversion of mono-static backscatter and spherical wave reflection-coefficient data. The data are modeled using homogeneous fluid sediment layers overlying an elastic basement. The scattering model assumes a randomly rough water-sediment interface with a von Karman roughness power spectrum. Scattering and reflection data are inverted simultaneously using a population of interacting Markov chains to sample roughness and geoacoustic parameters as well as residual error parameters. Trans-dimensional sampling is applied to treat the number of sediment layers and the order (zeroth or first) of an autoregressive error model (to represent potential residual correlation) as unknowns. Results are considered in terms of marginal posterior probability profiles and distributions, which quantify the effective data information content to resolve scattering/geoacoustic structure. Results indicate well-defined scattering (roughness) parameters in good agreement with existing measurements, and a multi-layer sediment profile over a high-speed (elastic) basement, consistent with independent knowledge of sand layers over limestone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1833-1842
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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