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Near surface S-wave seismic reflection profiling - new approaches and insights

Multi-component high resolution seismic reflection profiling has been extensively tested over a wide variety of ground surfaces across the southern provinces of Canada, showing new potential for applications of the method in groundwater and natural hazards research. The near-surface
shear-wave reflection method using vibratory sources and short spacing land streamers equipped with three-component receivers is an excellent tool for accurately characterizing shear-wave velocities and recording optimal, non-aliased shear-wave data in the most polarized direction. A small portable
multi-component vibrator developed at the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) named 'Microvibe' provides higher frequency S-wave and P-wave signals than can be acquired with a Minivib I. In this paper we show that the shear-wave polarization can vary with depth and it may be necessary to combine
multiple components together to achieve an optimized stacked section. Significant velocity anisotropies of up to 15% have been observed between the horizontal and vertical directions when using this multi-component Microvibe source. We make key recommendations based on time and space sampling
recording windows for successful near surface PP-wave, PS-wave and SS-wave seismic reflection surveys. Using field examples and velocity measurements, we show the complexity of velocities in non-homogeneous media in the near surface.

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