Adjoint modeling for acoustic inversion

Hursky, P, Porter MB, Cornuelle BD, Hodgkiss WS, Kuperman WA.  2004.  Adjoint modeling for acoustic inversion. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 115:607-619.

Date Published:



Algorithms, Frechet derivatives, signals, tomography


The use of adjoint modeling for acoustic inversion is investigated. An adjoint model is derived from a linearized forward propagation model to propagate data-model misfit at the observation points back through the medium to the medium perturbations not being accounted for in the model. This adjoint model can be used to aid in inverting for these unaccounted medium perturbations. Adjoint methods are being applied to a variety of inversion problems, but have not drawn much attention from the underwater acoustic community. This paper presents an application of adjoint methods to acoustic inversion. Inversions are demonstrated in simulation for both range-independent and range-dependent sound speed profiles using the adjoint of a parabolic equation model. Sensitivity and error analyses are discussed showing how the adjoint model enables calculations to be performed in the space of observations, rather than the often much larger space of model parameters. Using an adjoint model enables directions of steepest descent in the model parameters (what we invert for) to be calculated using far fewer modeling runs than if a forward model only were used. (C) 2004 Acoustical Society of America.