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A pitfall in shallow shear-wave refraction surveying

January 1, 2002

The shallow shear-wave refraction method works successfully in an area with a series of horizontal layers. However, complex near-surface geology may not fit into the assumption of a series of horizontal layers. That a plane SH-wave undergoes wave-type conversion along an interface in an area of nonhorizontal layers is theoretically inevitable. One real example shows that the shallow shear-wave refraction method provides velocities of a converted wave rather than an SH- wave. Moreover, it is impossible to identify the converted wave by refraction data itself. As most geophysical engineering firms have limited resources, an additional P-wave refraction survey is necessary to verify if velocities calculated from a shear-wave refraction survey are velocities of converted waves. The alternative at this time may be the surface wave method, which can provide reliable S-wave velocities, even in an area of velocity inversion (a higher velocity layer underlain by a lower velocity layer). ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication Year 2002
Title A pitfall in shallow shear-wave refraction surveying
DOI 10.1016/S0926-9851(02)00197-0
Authors J. Xia, R. D. Miller, C.B. Park, E. Wightman, R. Nigbor
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Applied Geophysics
Index ID 70024460
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse