Abstract

Horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratios of microtremors (MHVRs) have been interpreted as representing either the Rayleigh-wave ellipticity or the amplitude ratio of the sum of Rayleigh and Love waves in a horizontally layered structure. However, based on the recently established diffuse field concept, the theoretical form of MHVR has been proposed to be the square root of the ratio between the imaginary part of the horizontal Green’s function on the surface and that of the vertical one. The theory assumes that the energy of a wavefield inside the earth will be equipartitioned among the various states in 3D space. In the case of microtremors, this may occur for randomly applied point-force loadings on the surface after sufficient lapse time to allow multiple scattering. Recent works on diffuse fields suggest that equipartition may arise in several ways, but understanding the emergence of equipartition in realistic settings requires further scrutiny. In the meantime, the resulting formula is quite simple, and its meaning has theoretical support from deterministic exact solutions. As references, we use observed microtremor data from several sites that were reported previously and validate the diffuse field method (DFM) as an alternative method to explain observed MHVR. We use only sites with reliable velocity structures to compare different methods quantitatively. As a result, we found that the DFM solutions with the corresponding 1D layered structures well explain the observed MHVRs for most of the sites. Thus, we believe that MHVR can be used to invert a 1D velocity structure by using DFM as a theoretical tool.

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