Borehole P- and S-wave velocity at thirteen stations in Southern California

Open-File Report 2001-506

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The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), as part of a program to acquire seismic velocity data at locations of strong-ground motion in earthquakes (e.g., Gibbs et al., 2000), has investigated thirteen additional sites in the Southern California region. Of the thirteen sites, twelve are in the vicinity of Whittier, California, and one is located in San Bernardino, California. Several deployments of temporary seismographs were made after the Whittier Narrows, California earthquake of 1 October 1987 (Mueller et al., 1988). A deployment, between 2 October and 9 November 1987, was the motivation for selection of six of the drill sites. Temporary portable seismographs at Hoover School (HOO), Lincoln School (LIN), Corps of Engineers Station (NAR), Olive Junior High School (OLV), Santa Anita Golf Course (SAG), and Southwestern Academy (SWA) recorded significant aftershock data. These portable sites, with the exception of Santa Anita Golf Course, were co-sited with strong-motion recorders. Stations at HOO, Lincoln School Whittier (WLB), Saint Paul High School (STP), Alisos Adult School (EXC), Cerritos College Gymnasium (CGM), Cerritos College Physical Science Building (CPS), and Cerritos College Police Building (CPB) were part of an array of digital strong-motion stations deployed from "bedrock" in Whittier to near the deepest part of the Los Angeles basin in Norwalk. Although development and siting of this new array (partially installed at the time of this writing) was generally motivated by the Whittier Narrows earthquake, these new sites (with the exception of HOO) were not part of any Whittier Narrows aftershock deployments. A similar new digital strong-motion site was installed at the San Bernardino Fire Station during the same time frame. Velocity data were obtained to depths of about 90 meters at two sites, 30 meters at seven sites, and 18 to 25 meters at four sites. Lithology data from the analysis of cuttings and samples was obtained from the two 90-meter deep holes and from five of the shallower holes to supplement the velocity interpretation. The two 90-meter boreholes (SB1, CPB) have been instrumented with borehole seismometers for continuous monitoring of earthquake activity (Rogers et al., 1998). No drill samples or cuttings were obtained from the other six sites, but driller's logs were scanned for major changes noted there. The velocity models at those sites were interpreted using only the measured data and major changes in the driller's log as noted above. The sites are shown in Figure 1 and listed in Table 1, which gives references to information regarding the strong-motion data. Several hundred strong-motion records of the main-shock were written by this moderate size earthquake (ML = 5.9), making it important from a scientific and engineering prospective (Brady et al., 1988; Shakal et al., 1988).

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Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Borehole P- and S-wave velocity at thirteen stations in Southern California
Series title:
Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Earthquake Science Center
i, 117 p.
United States