Ground-motion records from a 52-element dense seismic array near San Jose, California, are analyzed to obtain site response, shallow shear-wave velocity, and plane-wave propagation characteristics. The array, located on the eastern side of the Santa Clara Valley south of the San Francisco Bay, is sited over the Evergreen basin, a 7-km-deep depression with Miocene and younger deposits. Site response values below 4 Hz are up to a factor of 2 greater when larger, regional records are included in the analysis, due to strong surface-wave development within the Santa Clara Valley. The pattern of site amplification is the same, however, with local or regional events. Site amplification increases away from the eastern edge of the Santa Clara Valley, reaching a maximum over the western edge of the Evergreen basin, where the pre-Cenozoic basement shallows rapidly. Amplification then decreases further to the west. This pattern may be caused by lower shallow shear-wave velocities and thicker Quaternary deposits further from the edge of the Santa Clara Valley and generation/trapping of surface waves above the shallowing basement of the western Evergreen basin. Shear-wave velocities from the inversion of site response spectra based on smaller, local earthquakes compare well with those obtained independently from our seismic reflection/refraction measurements. Velocities from the inversion of site spectra that include larger, regional records do not compare well with these measurements. A mix of local and regional events, however, is appropriate for determination of site response to be used in seismic hazard evaluation, since large damaging events would excite both body and surface waves with a wide range in ray parameters. Frequency-wavenumber, plane-wave analysis is used to determine the backazimuth and apparent velocity of coherent phases at the array. Conventional, high-resolution, and multiple signal characterization f-k power spectra and stacked slowness power spectra are compared. These spectra show surface waves generated/ scattered at the edges of the Santa Clara Valley and possibly within the valley at the western edge of the Evergreen basin.
Additional publication details
Site response, shallow shear-wave velocity, and wave propagation at the San Jose, California, dense seismic array