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Inversion of shear-wave velocity profiles from phase-velocity measurements of Rayleigh-wave energy for sites containing stiff layers can be erroneous if such layers are not characterized in the starting or reference model. Incorporation of a priori knowledge then is key for converging upon a realistic or meaningful solution. Resolving soil profiles in desert regions where stiff layers cemented with calcium carbonate are intermixed with softer, uncemented media is an application for which locating shallow stiff inclusions has important implications. Identification of the stiff layers is critical for foundation design and cost estimating of excavations. A parameterization that seems adequate for this problem is to solve for anticipated high-stiffness layers embedded in a coarser (background) profile that captures the general shear-wave velocity trend of the study area. The optimization is accomplished by using simulated annealing. Uncertainty measures resulting from the inversion are helpful for describing the influence of the parameterization on final model estimates.


Deserts; Excavation; Rayleigh waves; Seismic waves; Soil; Soil profiles


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Desert Ecology | Environmental Engineering | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Monitoring | Environmental Sciences | Sustainability


Copyright Society of Exploration Geophysicists used with permission

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