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A review of near-surface QS estimation methods using active and passive sources

March 16, 2022

Seismic attenuation and the associated quality factor (Q) have long been studied in various sub-disciplines of seismology, ranging from observational and engineering seismology to near-surface geophysics and soil/rock dynamics with particular emphasis on geotechnical earthquake engineering and engineering seismology. Within the broader framework of seismic site characterization, various experimental techniques have been adopted over the years to measure the near-surface shear-wave quality factor (QS). Common methods include active- and passive-source recording techniques performed at the free surface of soil deposits and within boreholes, as well as laboratory tests. This paper intends to provide an in-depth review of what Q is and, in particular, how QS is estimated in the current practice. After motivating the importance of this parameter in seismology, we proceed by recalling various theoretical definitions of Q and its measurement through laboratory tests, considering various deformation modes, most notably QP and QS. We next provide a review of the literature on QS estimation methods that use data from surface and borehole sensor recordings. We distinguish between active- and passive-source approaches, along with their pros and cons, as well as the state-of-the-practice and state-of-the-art. Finally, we summarize the phenomena associated with the high-frequency shear-wave attenuation factor (kappa) and its relation to Q, as well as other lesser-known attenuation parameters.

Publication Year 2022
Title A review of near-surface QS estimation methods using active and passive sources
DOI 10.1007/s10950-021-10066-5
Authors Stefano Parolai, Carlo G. Lai, Ilaria Dreossi, Olga-Joan Ktenidou, Alan K. Yong
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Seismology
Index ID 70236346
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earthquake Science Center