Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Molnar, Sheri

2nd Supervisor

Sadrekarimi, Abouzar


Canadian seismic design guidelines classify subsurface ground conditions based on the average shear-wave velocity (VS) of the upper 30 meters (VS30). We seek to optimize a robust earthquake site classification procedure for Ontario bridge sites, assessed primarily from blind comparison of non-invasive VS depth profiling techniques. Non-invasive seismic testing is performed at 10 bridge sites in southern Ontario co-located with invasive penetration and/or borehole VS measurements. Non-invasive surface wave dispersion and site amplification functions are jointly inverted to retrieve VS profiles at each site. A general correlation between corrected VS and cone tip resistance (qc1) is developed for all soils encountered in Windsor, Ontario. We determine an overall average relative difference in VS between methodologies of 17% for soil layers at all bridge sites. Earthquake site classification based on VS is consistent at all sites regardless of methodology. Non-invasive techniques offer an efficient but lower-resolution VS profiling alternative to invasive earthquake site classification techniques with the advantages of measuring site period and VS of the impenetrable substratum.