ABSTRACT

This article focuses on the full exploitation of geological and economically viable geophysical surveys for the seismic characterization of the shallow subsoil in the frame of microzonation studies in urban areas where economic resources for detailed seismic response analyses are scarce. In these conditions, the outcomes of inexpensive geophysical surveys (e.g., based on ambient vibration monitoring or surface‐wave prospecting) must be fully exploited. To reduce the uncertainties related to these kinds of procedures, their joint interpretation in the light of geological evidence is mandatory. To this purpose, we propose the application of principal component analysis to combine the results of distributed single‐station ambient vibration measurements (horizontal‐to‐vertical spectral ratio [HVSR] technique) to provide a preliminary zonation of the study area. The zones identified in this way are then characterized by considering the available geognostic boreholes, VS profiles deduced by the joint inversion of HVSR curves, and available Rayleigh‐wave dispersion curves deduced from active seismic prospecting (multichannel analysis of surface‐waves technique). The final outcome allows the definition of a preliminary seismic model of the study area, which is also constrained by the available geological data deduced from on‐purpose surveys. The proposed approach has been applied to the city of Gori (Georgia). The proposed approach allowed a reliable assessment of buried geometries, geological domains, and the distribution of lithofacies, which can control the local seismic response. In detail, the major role of paleovalley infills and interfluve domains has been enlightened by adding in evidence concerning the peculiar stratigraphic relationships and buried morphologies, which may determine 1D and 2D resonance effects.

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