Shear-wave seismic reflection for improved detection of ground subsidence and scouring features

Ahmed Ismail, Jason Thomason, Estella Atekwana

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractpeer-review


Ground subsidence and scouring features are major geotechnical problems that pose risk to roads, bridges and infrastructures. There is a growing demand for developing non-invasive technologies capable of detecting such features from the surface. Geophysical techniques in general and seismic methods in particular have become the leading technique of choice for detecting subsidence and scouring features. High-resolution seismic methods including P-and S-wave reflection and refraction methods are heavily used in the field of the geotechnical investigations. Because of its high lateral and vertical resolution and efficiency, shear-wave seismic reflection often provide improved detection of small-scale subsurface features. We used the shear-wave land streamer technology at three selected sites in Illinois to image potential subsurface hazards. We were able to detect ground subsidence at one site and scouring features at the other two surveyed sites. Using the land streamer technology for data acquisition of the shear-wave reflection has improved the acquisition time significantly. Moreover, we limited the post-acquisition processing to basic processing that an ordinary geophysicist can simply apply. With efficient data acquisition and simplified data processing, the shear-wave reflection would gain a high potential of detecting small-scale hazardous features at geotechnical sites.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28--31
JournalSEG Global Meeting Abstracts
StatePublished - 2017
EventInternational Conference on Engineering Geophysics - Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Duration: Oct 9 2017Oct 12 2017


  • ISGS
  • shear wave
  • reflection
  • high-resolution


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