High-resolution seismic-reflection/refraction data were acquired on the ground surface at six locations to compare with near-surface seismic-velocity downhole measurements. Measurement sites were in Seattle, WA, the San Francisco Bay Area, CA, and the San Fernando Valley, CA. We quantitatively compared the data in terms of the average shear-wave velocity to 30-m depth (Vs30), and by the ratio of the relative site amplification produced by the velocity profiles of each data type over a specified set of quarter-wavelength frequencies. In terms of Vs30, similar values were determined from the two methods. There is <15% difference at four of the six sites. The Vs30 values at the other two sites differ by 21% and 48%. The relative site amplification factors differ generally by less than 10% for both P- and S-wave velocities. We also found that S-wave reflections and first-arrival phase delays are essential for identifying velocity inversions. The results suggest that seismic reflection/refraction data are a fast, non-invasive, and less expensive alternative to downhole data for determining Vs30. In addition, we emphasize that some P- and S-wave reflection travel times can directly indicate the frequencies of potentially damaging earthquake site resonances. A strong correlation between the simple S-wave first-arrival travel time/apparent velocity on the ground surface at 100 m offset from the seismic source and the Vs30 value for that site is an additional unique feature of the reflection/refraction data that could greatly simplify Vs30 determinations. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Comparison of P- and S-wave velocity profiles obtained from surface seismic refraction/reflection and downhole data