ABSTRACT

Thickness and seismic velocities of sedimentary sequences strongly affect their response during earthquakes, which can prolong and amplify ground motions. We characterize shallow structure of Atlantic Coastal Plain (ACP) sediments using a passive‐seismic approach based on high‐frequency P‐to‐S receiver functions. We map the site‐specific fundamental frequency for 64 USArray Transportable Array stations and confirm that the method yields results similar to those from traditional spectral ratio techniques, with fundamental frequencies between 0.1 and 1 Hz. In addition, using sediment S‐wave reverberations and P‐to‐S phase arrival times measured directly from the receiver functions, we invert for average S‐ and P‐wave velocity profiles of the ACP sedimentary strata. We find that VS increases with depth following a power‐law relationship (VSz) whereas the increase of VP with depth is more difficult to constrain using converted wave methods; therefore, we choose to use the Brocher (2005) relationship to obtain VP through a VP/VS relationship. Finally, we use the variation of measured S‐reverberation amplitudes with depth to validate these velocity profiles. These results have implications for seismic shaking across the ACP, which covers large portions of the eastern United States.

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