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ISSN  2096-3955

CN  10-1502/P

Citation: Wang, G. W., Wang, H. Y., Li, H. Q., Lu, Z. W., Li, W. H., and Xu, T. R. (2022). Application of active-source surface waves in urban underground space detection: A case study of Rongcheng County, Hebei, China. Earth Planet. Phys., 6(4), 385–398.

2022, 6(4): 385-398. doi: 10.26464/epp2022039

Application of active-source surface waves in urban underground space detection: A case study of Rongcheng County, Hebei, China


Lithosphere Center, Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing 100037, China


Deep-Earth Dynamics Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Beijing 100037, China


Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing 100037, China


China Earthquake Network Center, Beijing 100045, China

Corresponding author: HaiYan Wang,

Received Date: 2022-03-02
Web Publishing Date: 2022-06-28

Active-source surface wave exploration is advantageous because it has high imaging accuracy, is not affected by high-speed layers, and has a low cost; thus, it has unique advantages for investigating shallow surface structures. For the development and utilization of urban underground space, two parameters in the shallow surface are important, namely, the shear wave velocity (VS) and the predominant period of the site, which determine the elevation and aseismic grade of the building design. The traditional method is mainly to obtain the two above-mentioned parameters through testing and measuring drilling samples. However, this method is extremely expensive and time consuming. Therefore, in this research, we used the multichannel surface wave acquisition method to extract the fundamental dispersion curve of single-shot data by using the phase shift method and obtain the VS characteristics in the uppermost 40 m by inversion. We arrived at the following two conclusions based on the VS profile. First, the study area can be roughly divided into five layers, among which the layers 0−8 m, 14−20 m, and 20−30 m are low-velocity layers, corresponding to miscellaneous fill, a water-bearing sand layer, and a sand layer; therefore, the VS is relatively low. In contrast, the layers at 8−14 m and 30−40 m are high-velocity layers that are mainly composed of clay, with a relatively better compactness and relatively high VS values. In addition, a low-speed anomaly appears abruptly in the high-speed area at 20−40 m. This anomaly, when combined with geological data, suggests that it is an ancient river channel. Second, from the VS value, the $ {V}_{Se} $ (equivalent shear wave velocity) was calculated. The construction site soil was categorized as class III, with good conditions for engineering geology. In addition, we calculated the predominant period of the site to be 0.56–0.77 s based on the VS. Therefore, in the overall structural design of the foundation engineering, the natural vibration period of the structure should be strictly controlled to avoid the predominant period of the site.

Key words: Jizhong depression, surface wave exploration, shallow structure, site category, predominant period

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Application of active-source surface waves in urban underground space detection: A case study of Rongcheng County, Hebei, China

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