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Shallow Seismic Refraction Investigation for Site Classification and Geotechnical Engineering Applications

Edmund Nana Asare, Jamel Seidu, Kwame Asamoah Nyarko


The survey was carried to determine the Site Class of the study area and also estimate some geotechnical parameters of potential construction sites within the study area. The survey was conducted on the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) campus, using Geometrics ES 3000, A 12-Channel seismograph developed by Geometric Inc. The results from the study show that the subsurface of the study area is made up of four layers. The first layer is a top soil with an average thickness and P-wave velocity of 4 m and 324 m/s respectively. The second layer, which is a weathered Phyllite, has an average thickness and P-wave velocity of 10 m, 909 m/s respectively. The third layer is a saturated zone with an average P-wave velocity of 1759 m/s. The fourth layer is a Rock (Phyllite). It has an average P-wave velocity of 3000 m/s and a Poisson’s ratio of 0.46. The value of the Poisson’s ratio for the fourth layer indicates that saturated zone is vertically extensive. According to ASCE 7 (2010), two areas belong to Site Class C. Those areas (P3 and P8) include the back of the School’s Library and the land in-between KT Hall and Novotel. The rest of the study area belong to Site Class D.


ES 3000, P-wave velocity, Poisson’s Ratio, Phyllite

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