Continuous measurement of microtremors at two sites on basement rock and sediments was carried out in Los Angeles, California, in order to understand the fundamental characteristics of microtremors. A predominant peak with a period of about 6.5 sec was found in the microtremor spectra in both media. The spectral amplitude of the peaks varied gradually with time in a similar manner at the two sites. Their time-variant characteristics are in agreement with change in oceanic swell height observed at an oceanic buoy in the southwest of Los Angeles. This suggests that they originate from an oceanic disturbance. On the other hand, a clear daily variation of spectral amplitudes at a period of 0.3 sec indicates that short-period microtremors are caused by cultural noises. It was found that the spectral ratio of long-period microtremors between the basement and the sediments was repeatable, although the spectral amplitudes at the two sites were time-variant. The spectral ratio of the long-period microtremors was similar to that derived from strong motion records. This suggests the applicability of spectral ratios of microtremors to assess the effects of deep sediments on long-period earthquake ground motion.

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