S-wave velocity structure and site effect parameters derived from microtremor arrays in the Western Plain of Taiwan

Chun Hsiang Kuo, Chun Te Chen, Che Min Lin, Kuo Liang Wen, Jyun Yan Huang, Shun Chiang Chang

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31 Scopus citations


In this study, microtremor array measurements were conducted at 45 sites in the Western Plain of Taiwan. The arrays were approximately 30 m or 60 m in radius, depending on the site. The maximum-likelihood frequency–wavenumber method was adopted to obtain the phase velocities of Rayleigh waves, and then a genetic algorithm technique based on an inversion scheme of the fundamental mode of the Rayleigh waves’ dispersion curves was applied to calculate a preliminary S-wave velocity (Vs) profile at each site. Because a layer of thick sediment covers the bedrock in the Western Plain of Taiwan, microtremor arrays in this size range cannot estimate the structure of the entire sediment. Therefore, this study implemented further inversion of the horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratios of the microtremors to estimate the deeper structures up to the bedrock of Vs greater than 1000 m/s. Previously logged velocity profiles for different depths at or near our study sites were collected and compared with the Vs profiles derived from our microtremor array measurements; the results were found to be highly comparable. Therefore, we could delineate the depth distributions for the layer depths for Vs = 600 m/s and 1000 m/s in this region. The depth for Vs = 600 m/s is approximately 50 m in the piedmont area and approximately 300 m at the coastline; moreover, the depths for Vs = 1000 m/s increase from 200 m in the piedmont area to approximately 1000 m at the coastline. The depths for Vs = 1.0 km/s (Z1.0), which is an important parameter that accounts for the basin effect in recent ground motion prediction equations, are consequently available at the study sites. The distribution of Z1.0 as a function of Vs30 indicates higher similarity to that in Japan than in the San Francisco Bay area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-41
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Asian Earth Sciences
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • HVSR
  • Microtremor array
  • Taiwan
  • Z1.0


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