American Society of Civil Engineers

Characteristic Shear Velocity Profiles for Predominant Sediment Fill Units in the Las Vegas Basin

by Barbara Luke, (Applied Geophysics Center, University of Nevada Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 454015, Las Vegas NV 89154-4015 E-mail:, Helena Murvosh, (UNLV Applied Geophysics Center and Stanley Consultants, 5820 S. Eastern Avenue, Suite 140, Las Vegas, NV 89119 E-mail:, Wanda Taylor, (UNLV Applied Geophysics Center E-mail:, and Jeff Wagoner, (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, P.O. Box 808, Livermore, CA 94551-0808 E-mail:
Section: Soil and Geotechnical System Characterization, pp. 1313-1320, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: GeoFlorida 2010: Advances in Analysis, Modeling & Design
Abstract: Characteristic shear wave velocity profiles to 200 m depth were developed for basin-fill sediment types that predominate in the Las Vegas Valley. The profiles feed into a model that will be used to evaluate potential earthquake ground motions. Profiles were derived from a database that contains more than 1400 well logs and 200 velocity profiles. The sediment-type units used were predominantly clay, predominantly gravel, predominantly sand and mixed. Correlations between sediment type and shear wave velocity were derived from a subset of 76 shear-wave velocity profiles, most of which had at least one well log within 300 m. A single stepped velocity profile was created to represent each sediment-type unit. For each layer in each profile, the characteristic velocity was assigned using a histogram of velocities. Results demonstrate much variability but overall fit expectations that coarser grained sediments tend toward higher velocities and all velocities tend to increase with depth.

ASCE Subject Headings:
River basins