Correcting Multibeam Echosounder Bathymetric Measurements for Errors Induced by Inaccurate Water Column Sound Speeds

Tannaz Haji Mohammadloo, Mirjam Snellen, Weston Renoud, Jonathan Beaudoin, Dick Simons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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In this contribution a method for correcting bathymetric measurements affected by inaccurate water column sound speed profiles (SSPs) is presented. The method exploits the redundancy in the multibeam echosounder measurements obtained from the overlap of adjacent swaths by minimizing the difference between depths along overlapping swaths. Two optimization methods are used, i.e., Differential Evolution (DE) and Gauss-Newton (GN). While DE inverts for the sound speed by minimizing the depth variation, GN inverts for both bathymetry and sound speed by minimizing the squared sum of the differences between the modeled and measured travel times. The inversion method assumes a constant SSP in the water column. Applying the method to a salt wedge survey area with large variations in the water column sound speed indicates a good agreement between the original depth measurements and those derived after the inversion with the mean and standard deviation of the depth differences equaling 0.009m and 0.024m, respectively. This indicates that even with a simple parametrization of the sound speed in the water column, the correct bathymetry can be derived from the inversion. The SSP inversion method is also applied to an area with existing refraction artefacts. It corrects the bathymetry and reduces the mean and standard deviation of the depth standard deviation by a factor of around 2.75 compared to the case where the measured SSPs were used. Furthermore, the SSP inversion method neither manipulates the existing morphology nor introduces artificial bathymetric features in the areas where such refraction artefacts are not present. Considering constant SSPs, both DE and GN give almost identical results with GN being faster. However, GN is less flexible with regards to varying sound speed parameterizations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8805322
Pages (from-to)122052-122068
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Differential evolution
  • Gauss-Newton
  • multibeam echosounder depth measurements
  • optimization methods
  • refraction induced artefacts


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