A state-of-the-art review of passive MASW survey for subsurface profiling

  • Dipjyoti Baglari
  • Arindam Dey
  • Jumrik Taipodia
State-of-the-Art Paper


Passive multichannel analysis of surface wave (MASW) is a nondestructive technique capable of exploring soil subsurface to a great depth by utilizing ambient long-wavelength passive surface waves without requiring an active source. The method yields subsurface information in terms of shear wave velocity (Vs) profile of the surveyed area. Vs is a vital dynamic property of soil which has numerous applications in various geotechnical and earthquake engineering problems. The accuracy of final Vs profile obtained by MASW technique primarily depends upon the resolution of the dispersion curve which is plot of frequency-dependent phase velocity of the propagating Rayleigh wave. The present study critically reviews the effects and influences of various geometrical parameters (such as the shape and size of receiver arrays) and the recording and processing parameters (such as acquisition time, sampling frequency, and vertical stacking) that control the quality of raw wavefield data and subsequent dispersion imaging. The study reveals that there is no fixed recommendation for any of the mentioned parameters to be used to obtain a high-resolution dispersion image in case of passive MASW survey. Therefore, extensive experimentations are required to further understand and develop standard guidelines for field experimentation and data processing so as to reinforce the method as a stand-alone technique.


Passive MASW Shear wave velocity Resolution of dispersion image Acquisition time Sampling frequency Vertical stacking 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringJorhat Institute of Science and TechnologyJorhatIndia
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology GuwahatiGuwahatiIndia
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringNIT Arunachal PradeshYupiaIndia

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