In Situ Measurements of Compressional Wave Speed During Gravity Coring Operations in the New England Mud Patch

This paper presents measurements of sediment sound-speed profiles measured in situ using the acoustic coring system (ACS). The reported measurements were obtained from seven gravity cores collected in the New England Mud Patch. The ACS uses two sets of transducers mounted below the penetrating tip of a sediment corer to make in situ measurements of geoacoustic properties as the corer penetrates the seabed. The in situ sound-speed profiles are interpreted in the context of stratigraphic layering measured by a seismic survey, and the measured sound-speed profiles are consistent with the geophysical description. The in situ sound-speed profiles measured by the ACS were compared to conventional measurements of sound speed on the recovered cores using the multisensor core logger (MSCL). The MSCL data displayed both random and systematic errors that were attributed to disturbance from the coring process and/or the handling of the sediments after collection. Finally, using porosity and grain size distributions measured from discrete samples of the cored sediments, the in situ sound-speed measurements were compared to empirical regressions based on independent data sets.
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