A significant portion of UK’s infrastructures earthworks was built more than 100 years ago, without modern construction standards: poor maintenance and the change of precipitations pattern experienced in the past decades are currently compromising their stability, leading to an increasing number of failures. To address the need for a reliable and time-efficient monitoring of earthworks at risk of failure we propose here the use of two established seismic techniques for the characterization of the near surface, MASW and P-wave refraction. We have regularly collected MASW and P-wave refraction data, from March 2014 to February 2015, along 4 reduced-scale seismic lines located on the flanks of a heritage railway embankment located in Broadway, SW of England. We have observed a definite temporal variability in terms of phase velocities of SW dispersion curves and of P-wave travel times. The accurate choice of ad-hoc inversion strategies has allowed to reconstruct reliable VP and VS models through which it is potentially possible to track the temporal variations of geo-mechanical properties of the embankment slopes. The variability over time of seismic data and seismic velocities seems to correlate well with rainfall data recorded in the days immediately preceding the date of acquisition.


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