Qs estimation for unconsolidated sediments using first-arrival SH wave critical refractions

Z. Wang, R. Street, E. Woolery, J. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


On the basis of the assumptions of multilayered and homogenous media with constant velocities and Q values, and plane seismic waves, the seismic pulse-broadening equation, τ=τ0+Ct/Q (C=0.5), is used to estimate the shear wave quality factor (Qs) of unconsolidated sediments from SH wave critical refractions in the upper Mississippi embayment. The principal advantage of using the SH wave pulse-broadening technique instead of other methods for deriving Qs is that only one-fourth to one-half wavelength of signal is needed. Results from the study show (1) Qs varies from 10 to 60 in the unconsolidated sediments studied, (2) Qs is independent of frequency in the range of 10 to 70 Hz, and equivalent to the constant(Q0) of power law attenuation (Q = Q0fy, 0<γ<1.0), and (3) Qs, to the first approximation, is related to the shear wave velocities (Vs) of the unconsolidated sediments by the relationship Qs = 0.08 Vs + 6.99 ± 12.10.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13543-13551
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue numberB7
StatePublished - Jul 10 1994

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright 1994 by the American Geophysical Union.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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