Modeling seafloor geoacoustic interaction with a numerical scattering chamber Academic Article uri icon


  • A numerical scattering chamber (NSC) has been developed to compute backscatter functions for geologically realistic seafloor models. In the NSC, solutions are computed to the elastic (or anelastic) wave equation by the finite-difference method. This has the following advantages: (a) It includes all rigidity effects in the bottom including body and interface waves. (b) It can be applied to pulse beams at low grazing angles. (c) Both forward scatter and backscatter are included. (d) Multiple interactions between scatterers are included. (e) Arbitrary, range-dependent topography and volume heterogeneity can be treated simultaneously. (f) Problems are scaled to wavelengths and periods so that the results are applicable to a wide range of frequencies. (g) The method considers scattering from structures with length scales on the order of acoustic wavelengths. The process is discussed for two examples: a single facet on a flat, homogeneous seafloor and a canonically rough, homogeneous seafloor. Representing the backscattered field by a single, angle-dependent coefficient is an oversimplification. In a strong scattering environment, time spread of the field is a significant issue and an angle-dependent separation of the wave field may not be valid.

publication date

  • August 1994