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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2020-86
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2020-86
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  09 Jun 2020

09 Jun 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal SE and is expected to appear here in due course.

Using Horizontal to Vertical Spectral Ratios to construct shear-wave velocity profiles

Janneke van Ginkel1,2,, Elmer Ruigrok1,3, and Rien Herber1 Janneke van Ginkel et al.
  • 1Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningen, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 6, 9747 AG Groningen, the Netherlands
  • 2R&D Seismology and Acoustics, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, Utrechtseweg 297, 3731 GA De Bilt, the Netherlands
  • 3Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, Princetonlaan 8a, 3584 CB Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • Invited contribution by Janneke van Ginkel, recipient of the EGU Seismology Outstanding Student Poster and PICO Award 2019.

Abstract. For hazard assessment and earthquake hypocentre localisation, detailed shear-wave velocity profiles are an important input parameter. Here we present a method to construct a shear-wave velocity profiles for a deep unconsolidated sedimentary layer by using strong teleseismic phases and the ambient noise field. Gas extraction in the Groningen field, in the northern part of the Netherlands, is causing low-magnitude, induced seismic events. This region forms an excellent case study due to the presence of a permanent borehole network and detailed subsurface knowledge. Instead of conventional horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratios (H/V ratios) from amplitude spectra, we calculate power spectral densities and use those as input for H/V calculations. The strong teleseisms provide resonance recordings at low frequencies, where the seismic noise field is too weak to be recorded well with the employed geophones and accelerometers. The H/V ratios of the ambient noise field are compared with several forward modeling approaches to quality check the teleseism-based shear-wave velocity profiles. A close relationship is observed between the H/V spectral ratios from the ambient noise field, shear-wave resonance frequencies and Rayleigh-wave ellipticity. Using the well-constrained depth of the sedimentary basin, we invert the H/V ratios for velocity profiles. By processing only five teleseismic events, we are able to derive shear-wave velocities for the deeper sedimentary sequence with a 7 % bias in comparison with the existing detailed velocity model for the Cenozoic sediments overlying the Groningen gas field. Furthermore, a relation between resonance frequency and unconsolidated sediment thickness is derived, to be used in other areas in the Netherlands, where detailed depth maps are not available.

Janneke van Ginkel et al.

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Janneke van Ginkel et al.

Janneke van Ginkel et al.

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Latest update: 20 Sep 2020
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Short summary
Knowledge of subsurface velocities is key to understand how earthquake waves travel through the earth. We present a method to construct velocity profiles for the sediment layer on top of the Groningen field, the Netherlands. Here, the soft sediment layer causes resonance of seismic waves, and this resonance is used to compute velocities from. Recordings from large earthquakes and the background noise signals are used to derive reliable velocities for the deep sedimentary layer.
Knowledge of subsurface velocities is key to understand how earthquake waves travel through the...
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