Acoustic Backscatter and Remote Seafloor Characterization


The acoustic backscatter registered in multibeam and sidescan sonars records carries important information about the seafloor morphology and physical properties, providing valuable data to aid the difficult task of seafloor characterization, and important auxiliary information for a bathymetric survey. These backscatter records are the result of a complex interaction of the incident acoustic energy with scatterers at the sediment-water interface and with heterogeneities in the sediment structure, and are subject to strong radiometric and geometric distortions. It is necessary to understand the geometry and the processes involved in this interaction in order to compensate for these distortions and produce normalized backscatter values. The normalized records can be used in enhanced backscatter mosaics and in methods for remote seafloor characterization.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

International Marine Technicians Symposium (INMARTECH)



Conference Date

Oct 17 - Oct 19

Publisher Place

Woods Hole, MA, USA

Document Type

Conference Proceeding