Remote estimation of aquatic sediment density in the presence of scatter.
The accuracy of an acoustic method is tested for its ability to estimate the density of the first few meters of shallow marine sediment. Normal incidence reflections from a 16 kHz omnidirectional source are collected using a single hydrophone directly above the source. An empirical relationship is then used to estimate the sediment density from the normal incidence reflections. Due to the high frequency source and centimeter scale inhomogeneities in the sediment, a considerable amount of noise or scatter is produced. The scattered energy is incoherent, and therefore removable through signal processing methods. These processing methods are tested for their effectiveness using synthetic data generated by a finite element model. Lastly, as a proof of concept, the processing methods are applied to acoustic data and core samples collected at Lake Lavon (Wylie, Texas).