Encyclopedia of Remote Sensing

2014 Edition
| Editors: Eni G. Njoku

Acoustic Waves, Scattering

  • Alain Weill
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-36699-9_3


Scattering. A way by which obstacles or medium fluctuations of small dimensions can modify acoustic wave propagation in the medium. The difference between scattering processes and the reflection/refraction process is related to acoustic wavelengths. For scattering, acoustic wavelengths are of the order of obstacles and medium fluctuation dimensions. Francisco Maria Grimaldi first described scattering of optical waves in 1665, in the opus Physicomathesis of lumine, but this principle was renounced by Fresnel at the end of seventeenth century.

It is important to differentiate between scattering and diffraction.Diffraction concerns perturbations whose dimensions are large compared to a wavelength.


In the first section, we will describe acoustic scattering by simple obstacles such as spheres. The second section will introduce Lambert scattering and Marsh scattering from surfaces; this process is particularly important for sonar sounding. The third section will...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alain Weill
    • 1
  1. 1.Bur. JussieuLATMOS, Laboratoire Atmosphere Milieux Observations SpatialesParisFrance