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Seafloor Acoustic Backscatter on the Mississippi-Alabama Outer Continental Shelf
J. Scott Laswell (1), William W. Schroeder (2), William W. Sager (3)
Side-scan sonagrams of the seafloor and subbottom reflection profiles of upper sediment layers were collected during a high-resolution geophysical study of the Mississippi-Alabama outer continental shelf. Sonar data reveal two categories of acoustic backscatter patterns: (1) homogeneous and (2) patchy. Homogeneous backscatter appears uniform on the sonar records and was divided into four arbitrary levels based on the strength of acoustic return. Six patchy backscatter patterns were identified, ranging from amorphous "splotches" to regular lineations. Although much of the high homogeneous backscatter is found associated with topographic features, most areas of patchy backscatter occur independent of topographic relief.
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