Methods to Isolate Retrograde and Prograde Rayleigh-Wave Signals

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Estimating shear wave velocity with depth from Rayleigh-wave dispersion data is limited by the accuracy of fundamental and higher mode identification and characterization. In many cases, the fundamental mode signal propagates exclusively in retrograde motion, while higher modes propagate in prograde motion. It has previously been shown that differences in particle motion can be identified with multicomponent recordings and used to separate prograde from retrograde signals. Here we explore the domain of existence of prograde motion of the fundamental mode, arising from a combination of two conditions: (1) a shallow, high-impedance contrast and (2) a high Poisson ratio material. We present solutions to isolate fundamental and higher mode signals using multicomponent recordings. Previously, a time-domain polarity mute was used with limited success due to the overlap in the time domain of fundamental and higher mode signals at low frequencies. We present several new approaches to overcome this low-frequency obstacle, all of which utilize the different particle motions of retrograde and prograde signals. First, the Hilbert transform is used to phase shift one component by 90° prior to summation or subtraction of the other component. This enhances either retrograde or prograde motion and can increase the mode amplitude. Secondly, we present a new time-frequency domain polarity mute to separate retrograde and prograde signals. We demonstrate these methods with synthetic and field data to highlight the improvements to dispersion images and the resulting dispersion curve extraction.