Document Type


Publication Date



Estimates of S-wave velocity with depth from Rayleigh-wave dispersion data are limited by the accuracy of fundamental and/or higher mode signal identification. In many scenarios, the fundamental mode propagates in retrograde motion, whereas higher modes propagate in prograde motion. This difference in particle motion (or polarity) can be used by joint analysis of vertical and horizontal inline recordings. We have developed a novel method that isolates modes by separating prograde and retrograde motions; we call this a polarity mute. Applying this polarity mute prior to traditional multichannel analysis of surface wave (MASW) analysis improves phase velocity estimation for fundamental and higher mode dispersion. This approach, in turn, should lead to improvement of S-wave velocity estimates with depth. With two simple models and a field example, we have highlighted the complexity of the Rayleigh-wave particle motions and determined improved MASW dispersion images using the polarity mute. Our results show that we can separate prograde and retrograde signals to independently process fundamental and higher mode signals, in turn allowing us to identify lower frequency dispersion when compared with single component data. These examples demonstrate that the polarity mute approach can improve estimates of S-wave velocities with depth.

Copyright Statement

This document was originally published in Geophysics by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. Copyright restrictions may apply. doi: 10.1190/geo2015-0683.1