Matched field processing based geo-acoustic inversion in shallow water
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Shallow water acoustics is one of the most challenging areas of underwater acoustics; it deals with strong sea bottom and surface interactions, multipath propagation, and it often involves complex variability in the water column. The sea bottom is the dominant environmental influence in shallow water. An accurate solution to the Helmholtz equation in a shallow water waveguide requires accurate seabed acoustic parameters (including seabed sound speed and attenuation) to define the bottom boundary condition. Direct measurement of these bottom acoustic parameters is excessively time consuming, expensive, and spatially limited. Thus, inverted geo-acoustic parameters from acoustic field measurements are desirable. Because of the lack of convincing experimental data, the frequency dependence of attenuation in sandy bottoms at low frequencies is still an open question in the ocean acoustics community. In this thesis, geo-acoustic parameters are inverted by matching different characteristics of a measured sound field with those of a simulated sound field. The inverted seabed acoustic parameters are obtained from long range broadband acoustic measurements in the Yellow Sea '96 experiment and the Shallow Water '06 experiment using the data-derived mode shape, measured modal attenuation coefficients, measured modal arrival times, measured modal amplitude ratios, measured spatial coherence, and transmission loss data. These inverted results can be used to test the validity of many seabed geo-acoustic models (including Hamilton model and Biot-Stoll model) in sandy bottoms at low frequencies. Based on the experimental results in this thesis, the non-linear frequency dependence of seabed effective attenuation is justified.