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No. 27 (2022)

Improved Techniques to Resolve the Water Column Sound Speed Structure for Multibeam Ray Tracing

October 26, 2022


Multibeam bathymetry surveys conducted in highly stratified environments are routinely affected by sound speed errors. The approach proposed here aims to combine measured with synthetic sound speed profiles in order to minimize sound speed related depth measurement errors. The adequacy of synthetic profiles derived from a regional hydrodynamic model and spatiotemporal interpolation is therefore investigated. Ray-tracing comparisons at the 65 beam angle between measured and synthetic profiles demonstrate that the expected depth bias for modeled profiles will be in excess of 1% of water depth. Spatiotemporally interpolating hourly sampled profiles decreases the depth bias up to a factor of three for higher beam angles. Residual sounding depth biases are observed and ascribed to a residual surface sound speed error.