Traditionally, nonintrusive techniques used to characterize soils have been based on P-wave refraction/reflection methods. However, near-surface unconsolidated soils are oftentimes water-saturated, and when groundwater is present at a site, the velocity of the P-waves is more related to the compressibility of the pore water than to the matrix of the unconsolidated soils. Conversely, SH-waves are directly relatable to the soil matrix. This makes SH-wave refraction/reflection methods effective in site characterizations where groundwater is present. SH-wave methods have been used extensively in site characterization and subsurface imaging for earthquake hazard assessments in the central United States and western Oregon. Comparison of SH-wave investigations with geotechnical investigations shows that SH-wave refraction/reflection techniques are viable and cost-effective for engineering site characterization.
Additional publication details
SH-wave refraction/reflection and site characterization
Reston, VA, United States
Larger Work Title:
Geotechnical Special Publication
GeoDenver 2000 'Use of Geophysical Methods in Construction'