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An environmental Assessment in the Strait of Sicily: Measurement and Analysis Techniques for Determining Bottom and Oceanographic Properties

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Author: Siderius, M. · Snellen, M. · Simons, D.G. · Onken, R.
Institution: TNO Fysisch en Elektronisch Laboratorium
Source:IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, 3, 25, 364-386
Identifier: 95320
Keywords: Acoustic properties · Acoustic wave propagation · Shallow water · Computer simulation · Hydrophones · Seismic waves · Geoacoustic inversion · Matched field processing inversion · Sea bed properties · Water depth · Oceanography


In October 1997, the EnVerse 97 shallow-water acoustic experiments were jointly conducted by SACLANT Centre, TNO-FEL, and DERA off the coast of Sicily, Italy. The primary goal of the experiments was to determine the sea-bed properties through inversion of acoustic data. Using a towed source, the inversion method is tested at different source/receiver separations in an area with a range-dependent bottom. The sources transmitted over a broad band of frequencies (90-600 Hz) and the signals were measured on a vertical array of hydrophones. The acoustic data were continuously collected as the range between the source and receiving array varied from 0.5 to 6 km. An extensive seismic survey was conducted along the track providing supporting information about the layered structure of the bottom as well as layer compressional sound speeds. The oceanic conditions were assessed using current meters, satellite remote sensing, wave height measurements, and casts for determining conductivity and temperature as a function of water depth. Geoacoustic inversion results taken at different source/receiver ranges show sea-bed properties consistent with the range-dependent features observed in the seismic survey data. These results indicate that shallow-water bottom properties may be estimated over large areas using a towed source fixed receiver configuration.