Explosion source strong ground motions in the Mississippi embayment

Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
By: , and 



Two strong-motion arrays were deployed for the October 2002 Embayment Seismic Excitation Experiment to study the spatial variation of strong ground motions in the deep, unconsolidated sediments of the Mississippi embayment because there are no comparable strong-motion data from natural earthquakes in the area. Each linear array consisted of eight three-component K2 accelerographs spaced 15 m apart situated 1.2 and 2.5 kin from 2268-kg and 1134-kg borehole explosion sources, respectively. The array data show distinct body-wave and surface-wave arrivals that propagate within the thick, unconsolidated sedimentary column, the high-velocity basement rocks, and small-scale structure near the surface. Time-domain coherence of body-wave and surface-wave arrivals is computed for acceleration, velocity, and displacement time windows. Coherence is high for relatively low-frequency verticalcomponent Rayleigh waves and high-frequency P waves propagating across the array. Prominent high-frequency PS conversions seen on radial components, a proxy for the direct S wave from earthquake sources, lose coherence quickly over the 105-m length of the array. Transverse component signals are least coherent for any ground motion and appear to be highly scattered. Horizontal phase velocity is computed by using the ratio of particle velocity to estimates of the strain based on a plane-wave-propagation model. The resulting time-dependent phase-velocity map is a useful way to infer the propagation mechanisms of individual seismic phases and time windows of three-component waveforms. Displacement gradient analysis is a complementary technique for processing general spatial-array data to obtain horizontal slowness information.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Explosion source strong ground motions in the Mississippi embayment
Series title Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
DOI 10.1785/0120050105
Volume 96
Issue 3
Year Published 2006
Language English
Publisher Geological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center
Description 17 p.
First page 1038
Last page 1054
Country United States
State Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee
Other Geospatial Mississippi River embayment
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