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

January 1, 2022

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.

Publication Year 2022
Title Seismic site characterization with shear wave (SH) reflection and refraction methods
DOI 10.1007/s10950-021-10042-z
Authors James A. Hunter, Heather L. Crow, William J. Stephenson, André J.-M. Pugin, Robert Williams, James B. Harris, Jackson K. Odum, Edward W Woolery
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Seismology
Index ID 70231346
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geologic Hazards Science Center