RSK Geophysics | Techniques | Seismic Surface Wave Ground Stiffness

Surface Wave Ground Stiffness

Rapid shear stiffness (G) measurements can be made in situ using the Surface Wave Ground Stiffness (SWGS) technique. This method allows non-destructive evaluation of ground stiffness, and provides a profile of stiffness values with depth without the need for a borehole. Soils of all types can be tested and, importantly, no ground penetration is involved, so the ground is not disturbed. In cases where the ground variation is complex, or where extremely accurate information is required, the stiffness measurements can be refined through numerical modelling techniques.

Surface Wave Ground Stiffness Applications

  • Stratigraphic mapping
  • Estimation of depth to bedrock
  • Sinkhole hazard evaluation
  • Landfill base location
  • Soil stiffness and ground improvement verification
  • In-situ ground stiffness for geotechnical and civil engineering projects such as wind turbine locations, cranes, etc
Testing is computer controlled and with the use of mobile equipment, this technique is low cost and rapid. SWGS testing can provide a reliable and inespensive means of testing ground stiffness when other traditional methods (such as SPTs) fail to do so. Typical depths are up to 10m (clay) to 30m (granular soil).