Open Access

Effect of vertical velocity gradient on ground motion in a sediment-filled basin due to incident SV wave

Earth, Planets and Space201452:BF03351609

DOI: 10.1186/BF03351609

Received: 17 July 1998

Accepted: 22 November 1999

Published: 20 June 2014


The natural sedimental deposits in basins show strong vertical heterogeneity in their material parameters. The aim of this paper is to investigate the effects of such vertical heterogeneity, especially vertical velocity gradient, inside basin on the seismic ground motion through the parametric study on the response of a two-dimensional semi-cylindrical sediment-filled basin to a vertical incidence of plane SV wave using the pseudospectral method. This numerical study has tried to find the effects caused by vertical velocity gradient through the use of synthetic seismograms, wavefield snapshots and surface amplitude distribution. Simulation results clearly demonstrate the detailed character of wave propagation phenomena in basins with vertical velocity gradient, which produces characteristic amplification pattern of the surface motion caused mainly by the generation of strong Rayleigh wave induced at the basin edge associated with large lateral velocity change across the basin edge. Amplification pattern at the surface strongly depends on both the vertical velocity gradient in the basin and the predominant frequency of the incident wave. Although similar phenomena on wave propagation and surface motion found in previous studies for homogeneous basin models have also been observed in this study, it has been found that the vertical velocity gradient enhances such phenomena. The results suggest that it is important to represent the vertical velocity profiles accurately when we construct a structural model for realistic modelling of ground motion.