Despite the fact that surface waves in land seismic data are often regarded as noise, they can also be used to obtain valuable information about the subsurface. Because their propagation is directly related to the properties of the subsurface, the analysis and inversion of surface waves can provide a characterisation of the near surface. In this paper, surface waves were used to estimate the dimensionless quality factor Q, which is most commonly used to measure the attenuation of seismic waves. To invert for the quality factor Q, the surface-wave attenuation coefficient and the phase velocity, as well as the near-surface S- and P-wave velocities, are needed. A weighted damped least-squares algorithm was chosen for the inversion. The algorithm produced promising results both for synthetic data, used to test different subsurface conditions (not shown here), and for real data sets, providing information about the subsurface that is not yet obtainable with other techniques.


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