Abstract

1. Introduction

Various theories have been advanced to relate the attenuation coefficient and the velocity of propagation of compressional waves through a two phase medium, such as a marine sediment, to the elastic moduli, densities and relative concentration of the two constituents. The main difficulty in a natural sediment is the mathematical formulation of the complicated interaction between the particles. In general, the usefulness of most of the developed equations has been restricted by the simplifying assumptions that were used to formulate this interaction.

The relationship between the acoustic and geotechnical properties of a marine sediment is essentially a multivariate problem. In this case, where the understanding of the underlying control of the various geotechnical parameters on the acoustic parameters is incomplete, a large quantity of data must be analysed. Large quantities of apparently unrelated data, or data related in some obscure manner, can often be analysed numerically and in this respect multiple regression analysis is a very powerful method. By this means an effective prediction equation can be developed for the dependent variable in terms of several independent variables. Some of the variables considered maybe redundant and, as such, may be eliminated to concentrate the final computation on the variables ranking highest in their control of the dependent variables. As a result of finding the most significant variables, some idea may be then obtained of the physical relationships between the dependent and independent variables. With this knowledge of the main control parameters, the fundamental relationships between the acoustic and

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