Roadways are key components of the modern transportation system. Therefore, assessment of roadway subsidence is critical to the health and safety of the traveling public. Existing seismic refraction and waveform tomography methods can be used for subsidence evaluation; however, the data acquisition time is significant because they require multiple source impacts (shots) along a test line. To mitigate the negative impact caused by closing the traffic flow under seismic testing, a land-streamer seismic testing system and waveform analysis are developed. An existing 2D Gauss-Newton full-waveform inversion (FWI) method is extended for analysis of the land-streamer waveform data. The main advantage of using land-streamer waveform data is that geophones are not coupled to test materials and source-receiver offsets are fixed; thus, the whole test system can be moved along the roadway quickly for data acquisition. To demonstrate the effectiveness of land-streamer waveform data, the FWI method was tested on synthetic and field data sets. The synthetic result reveals that buried voids can be well-characterized by the land-streamer waveform analysis. Field data were collected on asphalt pavement using a 24 channel land streamer and a propelled energy generator to induce seismic wave energy. The test system was towed by a pickup truck along a roadway with an on-going subsidence (repaired sinkhole). The data were collected over 277.5 m distance at a 3 m interval, and the total data acquisition time was approximately 1 h. The field data result indicates that the waveform analysis was able to delineate low-velocity soil zones and laterally variable bedrock. The FWI results are also compared with multichannel analysis of surface wave (MASW) results. The 2D VS profiles from the FWI and MASW methods are consistent; however, the FWI method provides more detailed information (VS of 1.5×1.5  m cells) of low-velocity anomalies for assessment of roadway subsidence.

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