Abstract

Two strong-motion arrays were deployed for the October 2002 Embayment Seismic Excitation Experiment to study the spatial variation of strong ground motions in the deep, unconsolidated sediments of the Mississippi embayment because there are no comparable strong-motion data from natural earthquakes in the area. Each linear array consisted of eight three-component K2 accelerographs spaced 15 m apart situated 1.2 and 2.5 km from 2268-kg and 1134-kg borehole explosion sources, respectively. The array data show distinct body-wave and surface-wave arrivals that propagate within the thick, unconsolidated sedimentary column, the high-velocity basement rocks, and small-scale structure near the surface. Time-domain coherence of body-wave and surface-wave arrivals is computed for acceleration, velocity, and displacement time windows. Coherence is high for relatively low-frequency vertical- component Rayleigh waves and high-frequency P waves propagating across the array. Prominent high-frequency PS conversions seen on radial components, a proxy for the direct S wave from earthquake sources, lose coherence quickly over the 105-m length of the array. Transverse component signals are least coherent for any ground motion and appear to be highly scattered. Horizontal phase velocity is computed by using the ratio of particle velocity to estimates of the strain based on a plane-wave-propagation model. The resulting time-dependent phase-velocity map is a useful way to infer the propagation mechanisms of individual seismic phases and time windows of three-component waveforms. Displacement gradient analysis is a complementary technique for processing general spatial-array data to obtain horizontal slowness information.

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