Statistical Inference of Seabed Sound-Speed Structure in the Gulf of Oman Basin

date September 26, 2014
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Friday, September 26, 2014 4:00 p.m. ETC 4.150

Dr. Jason D. Sagers
Applied Research Laboratories
The University of Texas at Austin

Addressed is the statistical inference of the sound-speed depth profile of a thick soft seabed from broadband sound propagation data recorded in the Gulf of Oman Basin in 1977. The acoustic data are in the form of time series signals recorded on a sparse vertical line array and generated by explosive sources deployed along a 280 km track. The acoustic data offer a unique opportunity to study a deep-water bottom-limited thickly sedimented environment because of the large number of time series measurements, very low seabed attenuation, and auxiliary measurements. A maximum entropy method is employed to obtain a conditional posterior probability distribution (PPD) for the sound-speed ratio and the near-surface sound-speed gradient. The multiple data samples allow for a determination of the average error constraint value required to uniquely specify the PPD for each data sample. Two complicating features of the statistical inference study are addressed: (1) the need to develop an error function that can both utilize the measured multipath arrival structure and mitigate the effects of data errors and (2) the effect of small bathymetric slopes on the structure of the bottom interacting arrivals.