Journal Article

Higher-mode ambient-noise Rayleigh waves in sedimentary basins

Yiran Ma, Robert W. Clayton and Dunzhu Li

in Geophysical Journal International

Volume 206, issue 3, pages 1634-1644
ISSN: 0956-540X
Published online June 2016 | e-ISSN: 1365-246X | DOI:
Higher-mode ambient-noise Rayleigh waves in sedimentary basins

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  • Volcanology and Seismology


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We show that higher modes are an important component of high-frequency Rayleigh waves in the cross-correlations over sedimentary basins. The particle motions provide a good test for distinguishing and separating the fundamental from the first higher mode, with the fundamental mode having retrograde and the first higher mode having prograde motion in the 1–10 s period of interest. The basement depth controls the cut-off period of the first higher mode, which coincides with a rapid increase (over period) in the particle-motion ellipticity or H/V ratio of the fundamental mode. The strong higher mode we observed is not only due to the low-velocity sedimentary layer but also due to the noise sources with significant radial component such as the basin edge scattering. It is important to correctly identify the mode order when inverting the dispersion curves because misidentifying the higher mode as fundamental will lead to an anomalous high VSV velocity.

Keywords: Interferometry; Surface waves and free oscillations; Wave propagation

Journal Article.  6493 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Volcanology and Seismology

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