Seismic site characterization with shear wave (SH) reflection and refraction methods

James A. Hunter, Heather L. Crow, William J. Stephenson, André J.M. Pugin, Robert A. Williams, James B. Harris, Jack K. Odum, Edward W. Woolery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Reflection and critically refracted seismic methods use traveltime measurements of body waves propagating between a source and a series of receivers on the ground surface to calculate subsurface velocities. Body wave energy is refracted or reflected at boundaries where there is a change in seismic impedance, defined as the product of material density and seismic velocity. This article provides practical guidance on the use of horizontally propagating shear wave (SH-wave) refraction and reflection methods to determine shear wave velocity as a function of depth for near-surface seismic site characterizations. Method principles and the current state of engineering practice are reviewed, along with discussions of limitations and uncertainty assessments. Typical data collection procedures are described using basic survey equipment, along with information on more advanced applications and emerging technologies. Eight case studies provide examples of the techniques in real-world seismic site characterizations performed in a variety of geological settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-652
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Seismology
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Consortium of Organizations for Strong Motion Observation Systems (COSMOS) consisting of the US Geological Survey, the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), and a group of North American power companies, consisting of Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric, identified the need for these blind trials, for these guidelines for best-practices and provided funding and encouragement to facilitate the project. This material is also based upon work supported by the US Geological Survey under Cooperative Agreement No. G17AC00058. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the US Geological Survey. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the US Geological Survey. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the US Government, the Canadian Government, or COSMOS. This paper is Natural Resources of Canada contribution number 20200665.

Funding Information:
Funding for investigations in Canada was provided by the Geological Survey of Canada’s (GSC) Public Safety Geoscience Program and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. This article represents GSC contribution number 20200677. Funding for investigations in the USA was provided by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earthquake Hazards Program.

Funding Information:
The Consortium of Organizations for Strong Motion Observation Systems (COSMOS) consisting of the US Geological Survey, the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), and a group of North American power companies, consisting of Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric, identified the need for these blind trials, for these guidelines for best-practices and provided funding and encouragement to facilitate the project. This material is also based upon work supported by the US Geological Survey under Cooperative Agreement No. G17AC00058. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the US Geological Survey. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the US Geological Survey. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the US Government, the Canadian Government, or COSMOS. This paper is Natural Resources of Canada contribution number 20200665. Open Access publication fees for this paper were directly funded by GSC. Funding for investigations in Canada was provided by the GSC Public Safety Geoscience Program and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. This article represents GSC contribution number 20200677. Funding for investigations in the USA was provided by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earthquake Hazards Program. The authors gratefully acknowledge numerous project participants in the case studies. The GSC authors thank Kevin Brewer, Greg Brooks, Robert Burns, Tim Cartwright, Ron Good, Dariush Motazedian, Matt Pyne, Susan Pullan, and many student contributors. The USGS authors thank David Worley (USGS, retired) for his valuable contributions to the US investigations presented in this manuscript. We thank Alena Leeds, two anonymous reviewers, and Guest Editor John Cassidy for their suggestions and insights that improved this manuscript.

Funding Information:
Funding for investigations in Canada was provided by the GSC Public Safety Geoscience Program and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. This article represents GSC contribution number 20200677. Funding for investigations in the USA was provided by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earthquake Hazards Program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply.

Keywords

  • COSMOS guidelines
  • Seismic hazard
  • Seismic reflection
  • Seismic refraction
  • Seismic site characterization
  • Shear wave velocity
  • Vs30

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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