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Shallow elasticity structure from colocated pressure and seismic stations in the Piñon Flat Observatory and estimation of Vs30


SUMMARYAn algorithm developed in Tanimoto & Wang for deriving shallow elasticity structure from colocated pressure and seismic instruments is applied to data at nine stations in the Piñon Flat Observatory (PFO) in Southern California. Depth resolution kernels indicate that this approach can recover near-surface shear-modulus structure in the upper 50–100 m of the Earth. Our estimate for Vs30 at the closest station (BPH01) agrees with an independent result by Yong et al. which was based on an active source survey with a geophone array. Vs30 derived from the borehole S-wave speed model by Fletcher et al. also agrees with estimates at nearby locations, considering the size of uncertainties. Derived structures are much smoother than their models, however. This is because our method analyses slow quasi-static deformation of the solid Earth in the frequency range 0.005–0.05 Hz that inherently limits depth resolution. Lack of detailed variations in structures does not seem to be the problem for estimating Vs30 as Vs30 is an averaged quantity from the upper 30 m of the Earth. Also our estimates are not affected by different choices of frequency range in the inversion. However, our method may have some difficulty at stiff, hard-rock sites because ground deformation caused by surface pressure can become small and the key observables in our method, the ratios between seismic amplitude and surface pressure change, become difficult to measure accurately.

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