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Open-File Report 2015–1099

Shear Wave Velocity and Site Amplification Factors for 25 Strong-Motion Instrument Stations Affected by the M5.8 Mineral, Virginia, Earthquake of August 23, 2011

By Robert E. Kayen, Brad A. Carkin, Skye C. Corbett, Aliza Zangwill, Ivan Estevez, and Lena Lai

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (44 MB)Abstract

Vertical one-dimensional shear wave velocity (Vs) profiles are presented for 25 strong-motion instrument sites along the Mid-Atlantic eastern seaboard, Piedmont region, and Appalachian region, which surround the epicenter of the M5.8 Mineral, Virginia, Earthquake of August 23, 2011. Testing was performed at sites in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. The purpose of the study is to determine the detailed site velocity profile, the average velocity in the upper 30 meters of the profile (VS,30), the average velocity for the entire profile (VS,Z), and the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) site classification. The Vs profiles are estimated using a non-invasive continuous-sine-wave method for gathering the dispersion characteristics of surface waves. A large trailer-mounted active source was used to shake the ground during the testing and produce the surface waves. Shear wave velocity profiles were inverted from the averaged dispersion curves using three independent methods for comparison, and the root-mean square combined coefficient of variation (COV) of the dispersion and inversion calculations are estimated for each site.

First posted June 30, 2015

This publication is online only

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Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
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Suggested citation:

Kayen, R.E, Carkin, B.A., Corbett, S.C., Zangwill, Aliza, Estevez, Ivan, and Lai, Lena, 2015, Shear wave velocity and site amplification factors for 25 strong-motion instrument stations affected by the M5.8 Mineral, Virginia, earthquake of August 23, 2011: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015–1099, 66 p.,

ISSN 2331-1258 (online)




Rayleigh Wave Dispersion


Site Data




Appendix (1)

Figures (8)

Tables (2)

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