Time-reversal imaging (TRI) is analogous to matched-field processing, although TRI is typically very wideband and is appropriate for subsequent target classification (in addition to localization). Time-reversal techniques, as applied to acoustic target classification, are highly sensitive to channel mismatch. Hence, it is crucial to estimate the channel parameters before time-reversal imaging is performed. The channel-parameter statistics are estimated here by applying a geoacoustic inversion technique based on Gibbs sampling. The maximum a posteriori (MAP) estimate of the channel parameters are then used to perform time-reversal imaging. Time-reversal implementation requires a fast forward model, implemented here by a normal-mode framework. In addition to imaging, extraction of features from the time-reversed images is explored, with these applied to subsequent target classification. The classification of time-reversed signatures is performed by the relevance vector machine (RVM). The efficacy of the technique is analyzed on simulated in-channel data generated by a free-field finite element method (FEM) code, in conjunction with a channel propagation model, wherein the final classification performance is demonstrated to be relatively insensitive to the associated channel parameters. The underlying theory of Gibbs sampling and TRI are presented along with the feature extraction and target classification via the RVM. © 2005 Acoustical Society of America.