Course information

Responsible Instructor
Name E-mail M. Snellen
Name E-mail
Prof.dr. D.G. Simons
Contact Hours / Week x/x/x/x
Education Period
Exam Period
Course Language
Course Contents
• Relevant physical oceanography
• Elements of marine geology (seafloor topography, acoustical
properties of sediments and rocks)
• Underwater sound propagation (ray acoustics, ocean noise)
• Interaction of sound with the seafloor (reflection, scattering)
• Principles of sonar (beamforming)
• Underwater acoustic mapping systems (single beam echo
sounding, multi-beam echo sounding, sidescan sonar)
• Non-acoustic techniques (lidar)
• Data analysis (refraction corrections, digital terrain
modelling, data fusion)
• Applications (hydrographic survey planning and navigation,
coastal engineering)
• Current and future developments.
Study Goals
Seafloor mapping is concerned with the determination of
seafloor topography/morphology, the dynamic behaviour therein
and the mapping of seafloor material properties.
Applications range from hydrography, navigation, geology and
geophysics to marine biology and coastal engineering.
The various acoustic remote sensing techniques for seafloor
mapping are explained on the basis of the following:
• The basic physical principles on which the techniques are
• The sonar signal processing principles;
• The behaviour of the acoustic sensing signals in the
underwater medium.
The pros and cons of the various techniques (including nonacoustic
techniques) are discussed. At the end of the course the
student is capable of designing a seafloor mapping survey for a
particular application.
Education Method
Literature and Study Materials
Handouts: Simons, 'Seafloor Mapping' 2003
Written + assignment

Recommended literature
X. Lurton, An introduction to underwater acoustics,
Springer, ISBN: 3-540-42967-0.
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