Using horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratios to construct shear-wave velocity profiles

2020

by J.A. van Ginkel (KNMI), E.N. Ruigrok (KNMI), R. Herber (University of Groningen),

For seismic hazard assessment and earthquake hypocentre localization, 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 modelling approaches to quality check the teleseism-based shear-wave velocity profiles. Using the well-constrained depth of the sedimentary basin, we invert the H∕V ratios for 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. 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.

Bibliographic data

Ginkel, J.A. van, E.N. Ruigrok and R. Herber, Using horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratios to construct shear-wave velocity profiles