Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

Characterization of shear wave velocity profiles for South Carolina Coastal Plain

Department Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208, USA

Special Issues: Characterization and Engineering Properties of Natural Soils used for geotesting

The Atlantic Coastal Plain is a geological formation along the east coast of the United States that consists of unconsolidated sediments as thick as 1000 m underlain by very hard rock with shear wave velocity, V s of over 2600 m/s. In South Carolina, this very hard rock layer is located close to or at the ground surface in the central part of the state, and increases in depth towards the coast, and from north to south. The deep sediments are mostly Cretaceous and younger in age and consist of unlithified sediments with weakly lithified units. The deep sediments are unique geological and geotechnical conditions that pose significant challenges to seismic hazard analyses. Having an accurate V s profile for the deep sediment is critical for predicting the level of ground shaking at a particular site. Geotechnical borings were drilled at two locations to depths of approximately 150 m and 190 m for borehole geophysical testing, undisturbed sampling, and soil/rock coring. Geophysical testing was conducted independently by groups of experts at both locations and included P-S suspension logging, a combined multi-channel and spectral analysis of surface waves, and a combined multi-channel analysis of surface waves and microtremor array measurement methods. This paper presents a comparison between field testing results from the different methods and visual classification of soil and rock samples to evaluate uncertainties of deep soil profiles obtained by different methods. In addition, soil samples collected at both sites were tested using the resonant column method to evaluate dynamic properties. The shear wave velocities measured in the lab for soil and rock samples were compared with results from the field measurements. Cementation was found to be one of the important factors affecting the shear wave velocity measurements.
  Article Metrics

Keywords shear wave velocity; site response analysis; geophysical testing; resonant column testing; soil profile; cementation

Citation: Inthuorn Sasanakul, Sarah Gassman, Pitak Ruttithivaphanich, Siwadol Dejphumee. Characterization of shear wave velocity profiles for South Carolina Coastal Plain. AIMS Geosciences, 2019, 5(2): 303-324. doi: 10.3934/geosci.2019.2.303


  • 1. Loehr JE, Lutteneger A, Rosenblad B, et al. (2016) Geotechnical Site Characterization Geotechnical Engineering Circular No. 5 (No. FHWA NHI-16-072).
  • 2. AASHTO (2014) AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications, Seventh Edition, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
  • 3. Kavazanjian JR, Matasovic N, Haji-Hamour T, et al. (1997) Design Guidance: Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering for Highways, Volumes I and II. report no. FHWA-SA-97-076.
  • 4. Petersen MD, Moschetti MP, Powers PM, et al. (2014) Documentation for the 2014 update of the United States national seismic hazard maps: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report: 2014–1091.
  • 5. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), Geological Survey (1998) Geologic Time Scale for South Carolina, OFR-108, Available from: http://www.dnr.sc.gov/geology/images/gifs/OFR108.gif.
  • 6. Andrus RD, Ravichandran N, Aboye S, et al. (2014) Seismic site coefficients and acceleration design response spectra based on conditions in South Carolina. No. FHWA-SC-14-02.
  • 7. Zhang J, Andrus RD, Juang CH (2005) Normalized shear modulus and material damping ratio relationships. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 131: 453–464.    
  • 8. Zhang J, Andrus RD, Juang CH (2008) Model uncertainty in normalized shear modulus and damping relationships. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 134: 24–36.    
  • 9. S&ME (2017) Geotechnical Data Summary Report Deep Seismic Boreholes for the SCDOT Aynor and Andrews, South Carolina, S&ME Project No.1426-17-018.
  • 10. GeoVision (2017a) SCDOT Borehole Geophysics South Carolina, Report 17016-01, April 2017.
  • 11. GeoVision (2017b) Surface Wave Measurements SCDOT Borehole sites near Andrews and Conway, South Carolina, Report 17016-02, May 2017.
  • 12. Cox BR, Vantassel J (2017) Deep Shear Wave Velocity Profiling Using MASW and MAM Surface Wave Methods: SCDOT Deep Borehole Sites near Andrews and Conway, South Carolina, Geotechnical Engineering Report GR17-18, University of Texas at Austin, July 2017.
  • 13. Sasanakul I, Gassman S (2019) Deep Soil Test Borings to Determine Shear Wave Velocities Across South Carolina. No. FHWA-SC-19-XX, in press.
  • 14. Ohya S (1986) In situ P and S wave velocity measurement. In Use of In Situ Tests in Geotechnical Engineering, ASCE, 1218–1235.
  • 15. Nigbor RL, Imai T (1994) The suspension PS velocity logging method. Geophys Charact Sites, 57–61.
  • 16. Diehl JG, Martin AJ, Steller RA (2000) P-S suspension procedure: GEOVision (internal document).
  • 17. Diehl JG, Martin AJ, Steller RA (2006) Twenty-year retrospective on the OYO P-S suspension logger, Proceedings of the 8th US National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, San Francisco, CA, 18–22.
  • 18. Stokoe KH, Wright GW, James AB, et al. (1994) Characterization of geotechnical sites by SASW method. In Woods RD, Ed., Geophysical characterization of sites, Oxford Pub lnc.
  • 19. Stokoe KH, Rix GJ, Nazarian S (1989) In situ seismic testing with surface waves. In International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, 12th, 1989, Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Vol. 1.
  • 20. Park CB, Miller RD, Xia J (2000a) Multichannel analysis of surface-wave dispersion. Geophysics 66: 869–874.
  • 21. Park CB, Miller RD, Xia J, et al. (2000b) Multichannel analysis of underwater surface waves near Vancouver, BC, Canada. In SEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts 2000. Society of Exploration Geophysicists, 1303–1306.
  • 22. Foti S (2000) Multistation methods for geotechnical characterization using surface waves. PhD dissertation, Politecnico di Torino, Italy.
  • 23. Okada H, Suto K (2003) The microtremor survey method. Society of Exploration Geophysicists. Geophys Monogr Ser 12.
  • 24. Subramaniam P, Zhang Y, Ku T (2019) Underground survey to locate weathered bedrock depth using noninvasive microtremor measurements in Jurong sedimentary formation, Singapore. Tunn Undergr Space Technol 86: 10–21.    
  • 25. Huang HC, Wu CF, Lee FM, et al. (2015) S-wave velocity structures of the Taipei Basin, Taiwan, using microtremor array measurements. J Asian Earth Sci 101: 1–13.    
  • 26. Kuo CH, Chen CT, Lin CM, et al. (2016) S-wave velocity structure and site effect parameters derived from microtremor arrays in the Western Plain of Taiwan. J Asian Earth Sci 128: 27–41.    
  • 27. Patil SG, Dodagoudar, GR, Menon A (2017) Active and passive surface wave techniques for site characterization at Archaeological site of GOL GUMBAZ VIJAYAPURA, South India. Indian Geotechnical Conference 2017, GeoNEst.
  • 28. Craig M, Hayashi K (2016) Surface wave surveying for near-surface site characterization in the East San Francisco Bay Area, California. Interpretation 4: 59–69.    
  • 29. Teague D, Cox B, Bradley B, et al. (2018) Development of Deep Shear Wave Velocity Profiles with Estimates of Uncertainty in the Complex Interbedded Geology of Christchurch, New Zealand. Earthq Spectra 34: 639–672.    
  • 30. Teague D, Cox BR, Bradley BA, et al. (2015) Development of realistic Vs profiles in Christchurch, New Zealand, via active and ambient surface wave data: Methodologies for inversion in complex inter-bedded geology.
  • 31. Sasanakul I, Bay J (2008) Stress Integration Approach in Resonant Column and Torsional Shear Testing for Soils, J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 134: 1757–1762.
  • 32. Sasanakul I, Bay J (2010) Calibration of equipment damping in a resonant column and torsional shear testing device. Geotech Test J 33: 363–374.


This article has been cited by

  • 1. Jean-Sebastien L’Heureux, Tom Lunne, Characterization and Engineering properties of Natural Soils used for Geotesting, AIMS Geosciences, 2020, 6, 1, 35, 10.3934/geosci.2020004

Reader Comments

your name: *   your email: *  

© 2019 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved