Correlation of sidescan backscatter with grain size distribution of surficial seabed sediments

J S Collier, Craig J Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

138 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The dependence of acoustic backscatter on sediment grain size distribution is examined using dual frequency (100 and 410 kHz) sidescan sonar and 22 sediment grab samples from the Loch Linnhe artificial reef site on the west coast of Scotland. The sidescan data were processed to remove an empirically estimated average grazing angle dependence on backscatter. The processed data were analysed by forming histograms of pixels extracted from a 20 m(2) box around each ground truth site. A positive correlation (r=0.73) between mean backscatter intensity and mean grain size was obtained, i.e., the coarsest samples had the brightest backscatter. A positive correlation (r=0.59) was also found between the standard deviations of the backscatter and grain size distributions, i.e., poorly sorted sediments gave the most variable backscatter. The performance of the sidescan data was compared to results from a co-incident single-beam echo-sounder RoxAnn survey. The RoxAnn roughness index E I compared well with the sidescan, whilst the RoxAnn hardness index E2 did not. This may be due to a physical link between the acoustic measures. The comparison showed the sidescan to have delivered a significantly higher-resolution image of the seabed for a similar amount of ship-time. Imaging of the artificial reef modules themselves was found to be frequency dependent. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-449
Number of pages19
JournalMAR GEOL
Volume214
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
  • CALIFORNIA
  • CLASSIFICATION
  • ARTIFICIAL REEFS
  • SONAR IMAGERY
  • IMAGE-PROCESSING TECHNIQUES
  • Oceanography
  • FLOOD DEPOSIT
  • ACOUSTIC BACKSCATTER
  • SYSTEM
  • PERFORMANCE
  • SHELF

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