Abstract

Horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratios using ambient noise (HVNSR) are commonly used in site effects studies. In the practice, many operators assume stability over time of HVNSR and base their analyses on few very short time windows. The availability of a long period of continuous microtremor recording allowed us to analyze three months of data coming from a dense array experiment performed at Cavola, a village in northern Apennines. This condition offers a good opportunity to check the validity of the stability assumption and to investigate variations of the local ambient noise wave-field composition. The Cavola site is characterized by landslide sediments over stiffer materials with a moderate impedance contrast and by a complex morphology. An intense industrial activity in the village contributes to the generation of seismic noise. After identifying this noise source in the time series, we evaluate its effects on HVNSR. The results indicate that the spectral peak of HVNSR varies in amplitude and frequency, posing a warning about stability in time. Analyzing the spectra we identify the anthropic activity as responsible for changes in the composition of the noise wave field. These variations affect HVNSR, including peak frequency and also ground-motion polarization.

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