Data Base of Seismic Body Wave Velocities and Geotechnical Properties

by David W. Sykora, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways, Experiment Station, Vicksburg, United States,
Joseph P. Koester, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways, Experiment Station, Vicksburg, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Geotechnical Engineering Congress?1991


A data base of seismic velocities measured in soils and standard geotechnical engineering material properties has been established at the U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station (WES). The data base was developed to provide a means of determining the best estimate shear modulus or shear wave velocity in soil given any number of known geotechnical engineering properties. This data base was tailored to allow correlations between seismic velocities and Standard Penetration Test (SPT) N-value, vertical stress, or depth. Stringent criteria were established at the outset of the project to accumulate only data of the highest quality and reliability. Most of the seismic data that exist were not used because the criteria were not met. Data were collected from several sources in private industry, state and federal government agencies, and an individual consultant. These data represent 40 projects located in nine states. A wide variety of types of projects, soils, geologic histories, seismic zones, and ground-water conditions are represented. Over 2,000 data points were collected in each of two distinct data files that were developed for different approaches to correlations. This quantity of data, however, is still limited when performing correlations with several sets of specified information. The data base can be easily updated and should be continuously maintained. This paper summarizes the strategy used to create the seismic data base, distributions of existing data, and provides three example uses.

Subject Headings: Soil properties | Seismic tests | Seismic waves | Shear waves | Wave velocity | Geotechnical engineering | Databases

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