Inversion of sound speed profiles from MBES measurements using Differential Evolution

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The sound speed provides insight in ocean properties, as it depends on depth, temperature and salinity. Here, we propose a method to invert sound speed profiles (SSPs) from multibeam echosounder (MBES) measurements, providing a SSP for every ping. Using erroneous SSPs results in a mismatch in the estimated bathymetry between overlapping swaths. The SSP is estimated by minimizing this mismatch using Differential Evolution. In this work, SSPs are described using empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs), which are obtained from historical SSPs. As a proof-of-concept, we apply the inversion on a simulated MBES survey, where the synthetically generated SSPs are fully described by 3 EOFs. The inverted SSPs deviate 1 m/s from the correct profiles. In the case of actual SSPs, more EOFs are possibly required. The number of required EOFs to get an accurate estimate of the SSP is assessed by using SSPs acquired in the North Sea. Results show that including only 2 EOFs is sufficient to accurately estimate the SSP, although larger deviations up to 3 m/s were found. In this paper, we demonstrated the potential of the proposed method to invert SSPs from MBES measurements, which can provide information about the vertical structure of the water column.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics 2021
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event6th Underwater Acoustics Conference and Exhibition - , Greece
Duration: 20 Jun 202125 Jun 2021
Conference number: 6


Conference6th Underwater Acoustics Conference and Exhibition
Abbreviated titleUACE 2021
Internet address

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Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


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