A two-dimensional study of the influence of deep sediment on seismic ground motions was conducted by recording and analyzing long-period microtremors in the San Fernando Valley, California. The recordings were made at 50 regularly distributed sites in the valley. Three reference sites were employed at the baserock outcrop around the valley so as to observe the time-dependent characteristics of the microtremors.
Amplitudes in a period range of several seconds correlate with the thicknesses of the sedimentary layers.
A site amplification effect, which was evaluated in terms of sediment-to-rock spectral ratios, is qualitatively consistent with available geological and strong motion data.
The practical field observation procedure designed for this study, the two-dimensional approach, can be easily used in other surveys for estimating the spatial characteristics of earthquake ground motions in the period range of several seconds.