Simultaneous Application of Reflection Strength Recorder, Sidescan Sonar and Sub-Bottom Profiler in Seafloor Sediment Mapping
The results of mapping the seafloor sediment distribution by simultaneous application of the following acoustical methods: measuring reflection intensities from the echosounder returns, sidescan sonar and sub-bottom profiling, supplemented by surface samples and cores, are compared. The reflection intensities are integrated from the echoes of the top 75 cm of sediment. The instrument is very sensitive to slight changes in the composition of muds and clearly defines the boundaries between muddy sediments and sands. However, the reflection intensities do not bring out all the heterogenities of the sediment distribution in sandy areas.
The sidescan sonar records with their higher lateral coverage and resolution in sandy-rocky terrain provide data on the composition, smaller morphological features and areal distribution; clay and mud generally show no returns. Interpreted together with the reflection intensities, the sediment distribution in the area as well as their relations to the physical parameters of the sediments can be deduced. The sub-bottom profiler (Uniboom) has better resolution in harder sediments than the echosounder and furnishes the spatial distribution of the lithological units, permitting further interpretation of provenance, tectonics and the geological causes for this distribution.
KeywordsReflection Intensity Muddy Sediment Glacial Deposit Sediment Distribution Sidescan Sonar
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