Seasonal changes in H/V spectral ratio at high-latitude seismic stations

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Rebekah F Lee1, Robert E Abbott2, Hunter Anne Knox2 and Aasha Pancha3, (1)North Carolina State University at Raleigh, Raleigh, NC, United States, (2)Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, United States, (3)Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
We present results demonstrating seasonal variations in the Horizontal-to-Vertical Spectral Ratio (HVSR) at high-latitude seismic stations. We analyze data from two sites at Poker Flat Research Range, near Fairbanks, Alaska. From the first site, we analyze 3 stations installed by Sandia National Labs (SNL) in a valley with marshy summer conditions. We also analyze the PASSCAL Instrument Center station PIC2, which is installed on rock approximately 3.2 km from the SNL stations. These stations continuously record data at 125 (SNL) and 200 (PIC2) samples per second. Seasonal changes in HVSR at high frequencies (> 20 Hz) appear to be caused by impedance contrasts between frozen and thawed ground. Thawed active layers are known to have slower shear-wave velocities than frozen layers or bedrock. An estimate of active layer thickness at each station is obtained from the quarter-wavelength approximation. We verify the accuracy of this technique by obtaining ground-truth measurements at the sites for both thickness and shear-wave velocity. We use physical probing for the thickness measurements and active-source Refraction-Microtremor (ReMi) surveys for the shear-wave velocities. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000