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  1. There is a growing need to characterize the engineering material properties of the shallow subsurface in three dimensions for advanced engineering analyses. However, imaging the near-surface in three dimensions at spatial resolutions required for such purposes remains in its infancy and requires further study before it can be adopted into practice. To enable and accelerate research in this area, we present a large subsurface imaging data set acquired using a dense network of three-component (3C) nodal stations acquired in 2019 at the Garner Valley Downhole Array (GVDA) site. Acquisition of this data set involved the deployment of 196 stations positioned on a 14 × 14 grid with a 5 m spacing. The array was used to acquire active-source data generated by a vibroseis truck and an instrumented sledgehammer, and passive-wavefield data containing ambient noise. The active-source acquisition included 66 vibroseis and 209 instrumented sledgehammer source locations. Multiple source impacts were recorded at each source location to enable stacking of the recorded signals. The active-source recordings are provided in terms of both raw, uncorrected units of counts and corrected engineering units of meters per second. For each source impact, the force output from the vibroseis or instrumented sledgehammer was recorded and is provided in both raw counts and engineering units of kilonewtons. The passive-wavefield data include 28 h of ambient noise recorded over two nighttime deployments. The data set is shown to be useful for active-source and passive-wavefield three-dimensional imaging and other subsurface characterization techniques, which include horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratios (HVSRs), multichannel analysis of surface waves (MASW), and microtremor array measurements (MAM).

     
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  2. We develop a new 3D ambient noise tomography (3D ANT) method for geotechnical site characterization. It requires recording ambient noise fields using a 2D surface array of geophones, from which experimental crosscorrelation functions (CCFs) are then extracted and directly inverted to obtain an S-wave velocity ([Formula: see text]) structure. The method consists of a forward simulation using 3D P-SV elastic wave equations to compute the synthetic CCF and an adjoint-state inversion to match the synthetic CCFs to the experimental CCFs for extraction of [Formula: see text]. The main advantage of the presented method, as compared with conventional passive-source seismic methods using characteristics of Green’s function (GF), is that it does not require equal energy on both sides of each receiver pair or far-field wavefields to retrieve the true GF. Instead, the source power spectrum density is inverted during the analysis and incorporated into the forward simulation of the synthetic CCFs to account for source energy distribution. After testing on synthetic data, the 3D ANT method is applied to 3 h of ambient noise recordings at the Garner Valley Downhole Array (GVDA) site in California, using a surface array of 196 geophones placed on a 14 × 14 grid with 5 m spacing. The inverted 3D [Formula: see text] model is found to be consistent with previous invasive and noninvasive geotechnical characterization efforts at the GVDA site. 
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  3. Full waveform inversion (FWI) and distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) are powerful tools with potential to improve how seismic site characterization is performed. FWI is able to provide true 2D or 3D images of the subsurface by inverting stress wave recordings collected over a wide variety of scales. DAS can be used to efficiently collect high-resolution stress wave recordings from long and complex fiber optic arrays and is well-suited for large-scale site characterization projects. Due to the relative novelty of combining FWI and DAS, there is presently little published literature regarding the application of FWI to DAS data for near-surface (depths < 30 m) site characterization. We perform 2D FWI on DAS data collected at a well-characterized site using four different, site-specific 1D and 2D starting models. We discuss the unique benefits and challenges associated with inverting DAS data compared to traditional geophone data. We examine the impacts of using the various starting models on the final 2D subsurface images. We demonstrate that while the inversions performed using all four starting models are able to fit the major features of the DAS waveforms with similar misfit values, the final subsurface images can be quite different from one another at depths greater than about 10 m. As such, the best representation(s) of the subsurface are evaluated based on: (1) their agreement with borehole lithology logs that were not used in the development of the starting models, and (2) consistency at shallow depths between the final inverted images derived from multiple starting models. Our results demonstrate that FWI applied to DAS data has significant potential as a tool for near-surface site characterization while also emphasizing the significant impact that starting model selection can have on FWI results. 
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  4. Quantitative dynamic strain measurements of the ground would be useful for engineering scale problems such as monitoring for natural hazards, soil-structure interaction studies, and non-invasive site investigation using full waveform inversion (FWI). Distributed acoustic sensing (DAS), a promising technology for these purposes, needs to be better understood in terms of its directional sensitivity, spatial position, and amplitude for application to engineering-scale problems. This study investigates whether the physical measurements made using DAS are consistent with the theoretical transfer function, reception patterns, and experimental measurements of ground strain made by geophones. Results show that DAS and geophone measurements are consistent in both phase and amplitude for broadband (10 s of Hz), high amplitude (10 s of microstrain), and complex wavefields originating from different positions around the array when: (1) the DAS channels and geophone locations are properly aligned, (2) the DAS cable provides good deformation coupling to the internal optical fiber, (3) the cable is coupled to the ground through direct burial and compaction, and (4) laser frequency drift is mitigated in the DAS measurements. The transfer function of DAS arrays is presented considering the gauge length, pulse shape, and cable design. The theoretical relationship between DAS-measured and pointwise strain for vertical and horizontal active sources is introduced using 3D elastic finite-difference simulations. The implications of using DAS strain measurements are discussed including directionality and magnitude differences between the actual and DAS-measured strain fields. Estimating measurement quality based on the wavelength-to-gauge length ratio for field data is demonstrated. A method for spatially aligning the DAS channels with the geophone locations at tolerances less than the spatial resolution of a DAS system is proposed. 
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  5. null (Ed.)