Sequential trans-dimensional Monte Carlo for range-dependent geoacoustic inversion

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This paper develops a sequential trans-dimensional Monte Carlo algorithm for geoacoustic inversion in a strongly range-dependent environment. The algorithm applies advanced Markov chain Monte Carlo methods in combination with sequential techniques (particle filters) to carry out geoacoustic inversions for consecutive data sets acquired along a track. Changes in model parametrization along the track (e.g., number of sediment layers) are accounted for with trans-dimensional partition modeling, which intrinsically determines the amount of structure supported by the data information content. Challenging issues of rapid environmental change between consecutive data sets and high information content (peaked likelihood) are addressed by bridging distributions implemented using annealed importance sampling. This provides an efficient method to locate high-likelihood regions for new data which are distant andor disjoint from previous high-likelihood regions. The algorithm is applied to simulated reflection-coefficient data along a track, such as can be collected using a towed array close to the seabed. The simulated environment varies rapidly along the track, with changes in the number of layers, layer thicknesses, and geoacoustic parameters within layers. In addition, the seabed contains a geologic fault, where all layers are offset abruptly, and an erosional channel. Changes in noise level are also considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1794-1806
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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