Seismic inversion of soil damping and stiffness using multichannel analysis of surface wave measurements in the marine environment

Michael Armstrong, Matteo Ravasio, W.G. Versteijlen, D.J. Verschuur, A. Metrikine, K.N. van Dalen

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Determination of soil material damping is known to be difficult and uncertain, especially in the offshore environment. Using an advanced inversion methodology based on multichannel spectral analysis, Scholte and Love wave measurements are used to characterize subsea soil from a North Sea site. After normalization, a determinant-based objective function is used in a genetic algorithm optimization to estimate the soil shear modulus. The inverted shear-modulus profile is comparable to previously published results for the same data, although a higher degree of certainty is achieved in the near-surface layers. The half-power bandwidth method is used for extracting the attenuation curve from the measurements and efficient reference data points are chosen based on wavelet compression. The material-damping ratio inversion is performed using a modified stochastic optimization algorithm. Accounting for measurement errors, the material-damping ratio profile is retrieved from the fundamental-mode Scholte wave with a high degree of certainty. Furthermore, a method is proposed for identifying the frequency dependence of the material-damping ratio from in situ measurements. No evidence for frequency dependence is found and the small-strain soil material-damping ratio at this site can be said to be frequency independent for the measured conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1439–1449
Number of pages11
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Elasticity and anelasticity
  • Inverse theory
  • Controlled source seismology
  • Guided waves
  • Seismic attenuation
  • Surface waves and free oscillations


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