Evidence for a common scale O(0.1) m that controls seabed scattering and reverberation in shallow water
Analysis of the spectral content of long-range reverberation yields two observations. First, there is a remarkably similar scale, O(0.1) m, between three diverse continental shelf regions. This is surprising given the complexity and diversity of geologic processes. Second, there is strong evidence that the scale is associated with heterogeneities within the sediment. Thus, sediment volume scattering, not interface scattering, controls long-range reverberation from a few hundred hertz to several kilohertz. This is also unexpected given that at long ranges the vertical grazing angles are less than the critical angle, and hence the penetration of the acoustic field into the sub-bottom is expected to be modest. The consistency of the scale, O(0.1) m, suggests an underlying feature or mechanism that is consistent across many ostensibly diverse geological settings. Neither the feature nor mechanism is known at this time.