The Shear wave velocity estimation of near surface materials is of primary importance in several engineering and environmental problems due to its direct relationship with the stiffness in-situ properties of soils. Within the framework of a seismological national project aimed at estimating the influence of the surface geology on seismic ground shaking, several sites of the Italian seismic network were selected for detailed S-wave profiling, with application of both borehole and surface-wave seismic methods. In such sites, the presence of relevant stiffness contrasts within the soil column has proven to influence deeply the surface wave modal superposition, with “mode jumps” more frequently present than previously thought also in normally dispersive sites. In these cases, mode misidentification can be avoided by investigating the effective phase velocity distribution using active data sets and full waveform seismic modelling. When a correct modal identification is achieved, the surface-wave inversion results are well consistent with borehole data.


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