The high-frequency backscattering angular response of gassy sediments: model/data comparison from the Eel River Margin, California.

Academic Article


  • A model for the high-frequency backscatter angular response of gassy sediments is proposed. For the interface backscatter contribution we adopted the model developed by Jackson et al. [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 79, 1410-1422 (1986)], but added modifications to accommodate gas bubbles. The model parameters that are affected by gas content are the density ratio, the sound speed ratio, and the loss parameter. For the volume backscatter contribution we developed a model based on the presence and distribution of gas in the sediment. We treat the bubbles as individual discrete scatterers that sum to the total bubble contribution. This total bubble contribution is then added to the volume contribution of other scatters. The presence of gas affects both the interface and the volume contribution of the backscatter angular response in a complex way that is dependent on both grain size and water depth. The backscatter response of fine-grained gassy sediments is dominated by the volume contribution while that of coarser-grained gassy sediments is affected by both volume and interface contributions. In deep water the interface backscatter is only slightly affected by the presence of gas while the volume scattering is strongly affected. In shallow water the interface backscatter is severely reduced in the presence of gas while the volume backscatter is only slightly increased. Multibeam data acquired offshore northern California at 95 kHz provides raw measurements for the backscatter as a function of grazing angle. These raw backscatter measurements are then reduced to scattering strength for comparison with the results of the proposed model. The analysis of core samples at various locations provides local measurements of physical properties and gas content in the sediments that, when compared to the model, show general agreement.
  • Authors

  • Fonseca, Luciano
  • Mayer, Larry
  • Orange, Dan
  • Driscoll, Neal
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • June 2002
  • Has Subject Area

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 12083194
  • Start Page

  • 2621
  • End Page

  • 2631
  • Volume

  • 111
  • Issue

  • 6