Studying how flocculation affects acoustic reflection



In inland estuaries and shallow coastal waters, small particles of organic matter, such as organic waste and debris or bacteria, clump together to form an aggregate known as floc. Flocculated particles can span a range of sizes, from a few micrometers to a few millimeters, and the properties and concentration of floc have a strong influence on water quality. To infer the properties of floc particles, researchers have proposed using acoustic backscatter measurements, a common technique for estimating sediment concentrations. To do so, however, requires an understanding of how the properties of floc particles affect acoustic wave reflection.