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IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering

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Sediments -- Acoustics, Acoustic measurements, Geophysics, Marine sediments -- Measurement, Sediments (Geology), New England Mud Patch


Seabed reflection and scattering measurements were conducted at the New England Mud Patch to better understand the acoustic properties of fine-grained (muddy) sediments. The measurement philosophy and the measurements themselves are summarized. In addition, geoacoustic information accessed directly from the data in the time and frequency domains is presented. The main result is the existence of an angle of intromission. This observation proves that the mud sound speed is less than that of the water and yields a sediment sound speed ratio 0.9865 with outer bounds {0.985 0.989}. Another result is the observation of strong scattered arrivals from within the mud volume at/near normal incidence but not at low grazing angles. These are likely due to anisotropic sediment heterogeneities with a large horizontal to vertical scale. Evidence is also presented for a highly heterogeneous mud–sand horizon with lateral variability down to scales of order meters. Finally, the reflection measurements successfully capture Bragg interference patterns. Their importance is their substantial geoacoustic information content, which can be accessed by several inversion methods.


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This is the authors' version of a work that subsequently appeared in the IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The version of record may be found at



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