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TitleApplication of microtremor horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio (MHVSR) analysis for site characterization: state of the art
AuthorMolnar, S; Cassidy, J FORCID logo; Castellaro, S; Cornou, C; Crow, HORCID logo; Hunter, J A; Matsushima, S; Sánchez-Sesma, F J; Yong, A
SourceSurveys in Geophysics vol. 39, issue 4, 2018 p. 613-631,
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20170132
PublisherSpringer Nature
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf (Adobe® Reader®); html
Subjectsgeophysics; Science and Technology; seismology; earthquakes; modelling; seismic waves; surface wave studies; Methodology; Guidelines; Best practices
Illustrationsgraphs; photographs; bar graphs; geophysical profiles; seismic profiles
ProgramPublic Safety Geoscience Assessing Earthquake Geohazards
Released2018 03 06
AbstractNakamura (Q Rep Railway Tech Res Inst 30:25-33, 1989) popularized the application of the horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio (HVSR) analysis of microtremor (seismic noise or ambient vibration) recordings to estimate the predominant frequency and amplification factor of earthquake shaking. During the following quarter century, popularity in the microtremor HVSR (MHVSR) method grew; studies have verified the stability of a site's MHVSR response over time and validated the MHVSR response with that of earthquake HVSR response. Today, MHVSR analysis is a popular reconnaissance tool used worldwide for seismic microzonation and earthquake site characterization in numerous regions, specifically, in the mapping of site period or fundamental frequency and inverted for shear-wave velocity depth profiles, respectively. However, the ubiquity of MHVSR analysis is predominantly a consequence of its ease in application rather than our full understanding of its theory. We present the state of the art in MHVSR analyses in terms of the development of its theoretical basis, current state of practice, and we comment on its future for applications in earthquake site characterization.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
This contribution is a perfect fit to an International Journal specialising in "Surveys in Geophysics". Our review article presents the state-of-the-art in methodologies using background seismic noise (including both theory and practise) to determine constraints on local earthquake shaking. With wave amplification of up to about ten times in some areas caused by local earth structure (both surface geology and deep structure), this is an important factor in evaluating earthquake hazard. We describe not only recent advances in techniques, but we also outline potential improvements in the methodology, and future applications in earthquake site characterization for use in building codes and other national codes and standards.

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