A review of shallow seismic methods

D. W. Steeples


Shallow seismic methods have historical roots dating to the 1930s, when limited shallow refraction work was performed using the Intercept-Time (IT) method. Because of high costs and the general lack of appropriate equipment - particularly data-processing equipment and software - the shallow-reflection and surface-wave techniques did not catch on as quickly as the refraction techniques. However, since 1980 substantial progress has been made in the development of all of the shallow seismic approaches. The seismic-reflection method has been used increasingly in applications at depths of less than 30 m, incorporating both the standard Common-Midpoint (CMP) method of the petroleum industry and the Common-Offset (CO) method, which was developed specifically as a low-cost technique for use in shallow surveying. In refraction studies, the Generalized Reciprocal Method (GRM) largely has replaced the classical intercept-time method, and tomographic approaches are rapidly gaining popularity. The Spectral Analysis of Surface Waves (SASW) has been developed by civil engineers, and surface-wave analysis involving many seismograph channels (MASW) recently has shown promise. With any of the shallow seismic methods, however, selecting the appropriate seismic recording equipment, energy sources, and data-acquisition parameters, along with processing and interpretation strategies, often is critical to the success of a project.


shallow seismic reflection;Rayleigh refraction

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-3687
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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X