• Advancements in Surface Wave Testing: Numerical, Laboratory, and Field Investigations Regarding the Effects of Input Source and Survey Parameters on Rayleigh and Love waves

      Coe, Joseph T.; Faheem, Ahmed; Nyquist, Jonathan; Ren, Fei (Temple University. Libraries, 2019)
      The Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW) method has been widely used to evaluate the subsurface in engineering applications since late 1990’s. In MASW, surface waves are introduced into the subsurface and recorded by sensors along the ground surface. The characteristics of the propagating surface wave are influenced by the subsurface stratification, the manner in which the surface waves are input into the ground, and the survey parameters to acquire data. Rayleigh waves are typically generated by vertical strikes on a metallic plate which serves as a coupler between the active input source (e.g., a sledgehammer) and the ground surface. It has been suggested that plastic-type base plates can improve the low-frequency energy of Rayleigh waves and therefore, can increase the depth of investigation among other potential improvements. However, very little studies exist in the literature that evaluate the role of base plate material, especially plastic materials. In addition to Rayleigh surface waves, seismic surface waves can also be generated with horizontal impacts (i.e., Love waves) using specialized base plates. In this regard, much less is available in the literature regarding Love waves as sources in MASW testing which means that optimum field survey parameters, the effects of near-field, and the role of seismic source have not been thoroughly investigated yet for Love waves. Given the aforementioned gaps in the literature, two aspects of MASW have been investigated. First, the role of base plate material, specifically plastic-type plates, has been studied. Field data collected from six sites along with the data from laboratory experiments and numerical simulations of hammer-plate impact were studied. The results showed that softer base plates improve the energy transfer by as much 20% and lead to minor improvements, typically one-digit numbers in relative changes, in other signal characteristics such as signal bandwidth and signal-to-noise ratio. These results were corroborated with laboratory testing and numerical models of wave propagation with different base plate materials. The second goal was to improve understanding of Love wave propagation, particularly as related to resolution capabilities from survey parameters. Rayleigh and Love waveforms were collected with multiple active seismic sources at three sites and a systematic comparison was made between the two types of waves. Also, seismic wave propagation was simulated using the research community code SPECFEM2D to further investigate their differences. The results revealed critical new information about the depth of investigation, the effects of bedrock location on near-field effects, and the role of the different survey parameters on Rayleigh and Love wave data. The depth of investigation of Love wave MASW was deeper by about 2-9 m than that of Rayleigh MASW as a result of improved minimum frequency. The minimum source offset to avoid near-field effects was comparable for both Rayleigh and Love waves (0.3-0.4 of maximum wavelength). At closer source offset locations, Rayleigh waves were more affected by near-field effects and showed an additional 10% underestimation of planar phase velocities. Overall, the results from both parts of this study provides new practical insights about some of the unexplored aspects of surface wave testing using MASW.