In recent years, the application of shear-wave seismic methods for shallow investigations (< 500 m depth) has become more and more popular. Shear waves are utilized for structural imaging, geotechnical investigations, and elastic parameter analysis. Methods using shear waves comprise, e.g., reflection imaging, tomography, and full waveform inversion.
Shear-wave imaging has great potential for shallow studies. For instance, near-surface resolution profits from low shear-wave velocities. Especially, shear wave reflection signals can be detected at small offsets compared to P-waves, which makes shear-wave reflection surveying cost efficient.
Shear-wave surveys can profit from sealed ground conditions due to the suppression of Lovewaves, and, thus, are predesignated for urban areas. But shallow shear-wave and multicomponent seismic requires a continuous technical development of specialized sources and customized equipment and makes innovative concepts for acquisition and data processing necessary (e.g. interferometry, full waveform inversion, converted waves).
Exciting as well as recording several components of the ground motion simultaneously is further beneficial, since it allows separating vertically (SV) and horizontally (SH) polarized shear wavefields, which is mandatory for 3-D surveys. Wave conversion and scattering effects can be distinguished, and differently polarised shear waves simplify the detection of seismic anisotropy. This session promotes the exchange of experience using shear waves in shallow applications and triggers discussions about their potential in seismic imaging. Combined studies using P- and shear waves are a plus. With the focus on shear waves, we invite, but do not restrict, contributions to technical development, data analysis, seismic processing, and case studies. The latter may comprise, e.g., (a) geotechnical studies, such as examination of soil rigidity, (b) exploration of structures, such as volcanic craters or groundwater resources, (c) analysis of neotectonics, active faults, quick clays, landslides, sinkholes, and subrosion structures, and (d) more exotic applications, such as the exploration of glacier ice thickness.
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