Shallow-seismic Rayleigh waves are attractive for geotechnical site investigations. They exhibit a high signal to noise ratio in field data recordings and have a high sensitivity to the S-wave velocity, an important lithological and geotechnical parameter to characterize the very shallow subsurface.

In recent years we studied the applicability of the two-dimensional elastic FWI method using numerous synthetic reconstruction tests and two field data examples. Some important challenges are reported here: (1) the accurate correction of the geometrical spreading, (2) the estimation of the source wavelet, (3) the importance of an-elastic attenuation in the forward simulations.

We found that Important pre-processing steps for the application of 2-D elastic FWI to shallow-seismic field data are the 3D to 2D correction of geometrical spreading and the estimation of a priori Q-values that must be used as a passive medium parameter during the FWI. Furthermore, a source-wavelet correction filter should be applied during the FWI process. Smooth initial models obtained from the analysis of the first arrivals of body waves are important and seem to be sufficient. Our field data examples indicate that FWI is able to resolve lateral variations of S-wave velocities in the very shallow subsurface.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Forbriger, T., Groos, L. and Schäfer, M.
    [submitted] Line-source simulation for shallow-seismic data. Part 1: Theoretical background. Geophys. J. Int.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Groos, L., Schäfer, M., Forbriger, T. and Bohlen, T.
    [submitted] 2D elastic full-waveform inversion of shallow-seismic Rayleigh waves in the presence of attenuation. Geophysics.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. GroosL.
    [2013] 2D Full-waveform inversion of shallow seismic Rayleigh waves, Dissertation, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Schäfer, M., Groos, L., Forbriger, T. and Bohlen, T.
    [submitted] Line-source simulation for shallow-seismic data. Part 2: Full-waveform inversion – a 2D case study. Geophys. J. Int.
    [Google Scholar]
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error