The nature of seismic shaking is dependent on source characteristics, travel path and near-surface site conditions. Many years of observations of earthquake damage have indicated that the presence of thick soil is a major contributing factor to the shaking response of structures. As well, seismic-induced changes in soil parameters can lead to other effects such as loss of resistance to shear (liquefaction) and landsliding. In the last several years, many national building codes have recognized the importance of soil effects, including shear strength, damping, amplification and resonance. Many of these insitu geotechnical parameters can now be measured or estimated using modern near-surface geophysical techniques. Indeed, current building codes indicate that the preferred measurement technique for seismic zonation is based on shear wave velocity structure of soil and bedrock. Other active and passive, surface or invasive techniques, also contribute valuable ancillary data leading to assessment of soil strength and liquefaction potential in granular materials.

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Conference Society of Exploration Geophysicists International Exposition and 80th Annual Meeting 2010, SEG 2010
Citation
Hunter, J. (James), Crow, H. (Heather), Pugin, A. (Andre), & Motazedian, D. (2010). Some applications of near surface geophysics to earthquake geohazards investigations: Examples from Eastern Ontario, Canada. In Society of Exploration Geophysicists International Exposition and 80th Annual Meeting 2010, SEG 2010 (pp. 3764–3768).