A non-intrusive "Micro-Chirp" acoustic system and a signal-processing protocol have been developed to estimate the bulk density of consolidating cohesive sediment beds. Using high-frequency (300-700 kHz) Chirp acoustic waves, laboratory measurements were conducted with clay-water mixtures. Because acoustic echo strength is proportional to variations in acoustic impedance, and the speed of sound in the clay bed hardly changed during consolidation, the bulk density could be successfully estimated without disturbing the sediment bed. Based on acoustic signal analysis, this study demonstrates that the reflection coefficient and bulk density at the water-sediment interface increase with consolidation time, and that a single speed of sound value can be used for practical bulk density estimation in muddy environments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)