Guidelines for Estimation of Shear Wave Velocity, PEER Report 2012-08


Characterization of the small-strain shear modulus and the shear wave velocity of soils and rocks is an integral component of various seismic analyses, including site classification, hazard analysis, site response analysis, and soil–struct ure interaction. The Next Generation Attenuation ground motion prediction equations use the shear wave velocity of the top 30 m of the subsurface profile (VS30 ) as the primary parameter for characterizing the effects of sediment stiffness on ground motions. This report presents guidelines for estimating the shear wave velocity profiles in the absence of site-specific shear wave velocity data. This study consisted of a review of published correlations between shear wave velocity and predictor variables, such as, surface geology, standard penetration test N-values, cone penetration test resistance, and undrained shear strength. This report also presents a method for extrapolation of VS30 for sites where subsurface data does not extend to a depth of 30 m.

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Bernard R. Wair
Jason T. DeJong
Thomas Shantz
Publication date: 
December 5, 2012
Publication type: 
Technical Report
Wair, B. R., DeJong, J. T., & Shantz, T. (2012). Guidelines for Estimation of Shear Wave Velocity, PEER Report 2012-08. Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University of California, Berkeley, CA.