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Journal Articles Geophysical Journal International Year : 2007

S -wave velocity measurements applied to the seismic microzonation of Basel, Upper Rhine Graben


An extensive S-wave velocity survey had been carried out in the frame of a recent seismic microzonation study of Basel and the border areas between Switzerland, France and Germany. The aim was to better constrain the seismic amplification potential of the surface layers. The survey included single station (H/V spectral ratios) and ambient vibration array measurements carried out by the Swiss team, as well as active S-wave velocity measurements performed by the German and French partners. This paper is focused on the application of the array technique, which consists in recording ambient vibrations with a number of seismological stations. Several practical aspects related to the field measurements are outlined. The signal processing aims to determine the dispersion curves of surface waves contained in the ambient vibrations. The inversion of the dispersion curve provides a 1-D S-wave velocity model for the investigated site down to a depth related to the size of the array. Since the size of arrays is theoretically not limited, arrays are known to be well adapted for investigations in deep sediment basins, such as the Upper Rhine Graben including the area of the city of Basel. In this region, 27 array measurements with varying station configurations have been carried out to determine the S-wave velocity properties of the geological layers down to a depth of 100–250 m. For eight sites, the outputs of the array measurements have been compared with the results of the other investigations using active sources, the spectral analysis of surface waves (SASW) and S-wave reflection seismics. Borehole information available for a few sites could be used to calibrate the geophysical measurements. By this comparison, the advantages and disadvantages of the array method and the other techniques are outlined with regard to the effectiveness of the methods and the required investigation depth. The dispersion curves measured with the arrays and the SASW technique were also combined and inverted simultaneously to use the advantages of both methods. Finally, the paper outlines and discusses the contribution of the S-wave velocity survey to the new seismic microzonation of the Basel region. In this regard one major outcome of the survey is the quantification of vertical and lateral changes of the S-wave velocity, due to changing lithology or changing compaction and degree of weathering of the layers.

Dates and versions

hal-03644839 , version 1 (19-04-2022)



Hans-Balder Havenith, Donat Fäh, Ulrich Polom, Agathe Roulle, Gji Seismology. S -wave velocity measurements applied to the seismic microzonation of Basel, Upper Rhine Graben. Geophysical Journal International, 2007, 170 (1), pp.346-358. ⟨10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03422.x⟩. ⟨hal-03644839⟩


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