Using three different short-period electromagnetic sensors with resonance frequencies of 1 Hz (Mark L4C-3D), 2 Hz (Mark L-22D), and 4.5 Hz (I/O SM-6), coupled with three digital acquisition system, the portable data acquisition system (PDAS) Teledyne Geotech, the refraction technology (REFTEK) 72A, and the Earth Data Logger PR6-24 (EDL), the effect of the seismic instruments on the horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio (H/V) using seismic noise for frequencies less than 1 Hz has been evaluated. For all possible sensors–acquisition system pairs, the background seismic signal and instrumental self-noise power spectral densities have been calculated and compared. The results obtained when coupling the short-period sensors with different acquisition systems show that the performance of the considered instruments at frequencies <1 Hz strongly depends upon the sensor–acquisition system combination and the gain used, with the best performance obtained for sensors with the lowest resonance frequency. For all acquisition systems, it was possible to retrieve correctly the H/V peak down to 0.1–0.2 Hz by using a high gain and a 1-Hz sensor. In contrast, biased H/V spectral ratios were retrieved when low-gain values were considered. Particular care is required when using 4.5-Hz sensors, because they may not even allow the fundamental resonance frequency peak to be reproduced.

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