Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 167, Issue 12, pp 1525–1536 | Cite as

Finite-Difference Modeling and Dispersion Analysis of High-Frequency Love Waves for Near-Surface Applications

  • Yinhe LuoEmail author
  • Jianghai Xia
  • Yixian Xu
  • Chong Zeng
  • Jiangping Liu


Love-wave propagation has been a topic of interest to crustal, earthquake, and engineering seismologists for many years because it is independent of Poisson’s ratio and more sensitive to shear (S)-wave velocity changes and layer thickness changes than are Rayleigh waves. It is well known that Love-wave generation requires the existence of a low S-wave velocity layer in a multilayered earth model. In order to study numerically the propagation of Love waves in a layered earth model and dispersion characteristics for near-surface applications, we simulate high-frequency (>5 Hz) Love waves by the staggered-grid finite-difference (FD) method. The air–earth boundary (the shear stress above the free surface) is treated using the stress-imaging technique. We use a two-layer model to demonstrate the accuracy of the staggered-grid modeling scheme. We also simulate four-layer models including a low-velocity layer (LVL) or a high-velocity layer (HVL) to analyze dispersive energy characteristics for near-surface applications. Results demonstrate that: (1) the staggered-grid FD code and stress-imaging technique are suitable for treating the free-surface boundary conditions for Love-wave modeling, (2) Love-wave inversion should be treated with extra care when a LVL exists because of a lack of LVL information in dispersions aggravating uncertainties in the inversion procedure, and (3) energy of high modes in a low-frequency range is very weak, so that it is difficult to estimate the cutoff frequency accurately, and “mode-crossing” occurs between the second higher and third higher modes when a HVL exists.


Finite-difference modeling dispersion analysis Love waves near-surface application 



This work is supported by the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC, #40904031) and the Special Fund for Basic Scientific Research of Central Colleges, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) (#090106). The first author appreciates the Kansas Geological Survey, University of Kansas, for providing opportunities in surface-wave research and the China University of Geosciences for the financial support to conduct this study. The authors thank Marla Adkins-Heljeson of the Kansas Geological Survey for editing the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser / Springer Basel AG 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yinhe Luo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jianghai Xia
    • 2
  • Yixian Xu
    • 3
  • Chong Zeng
    • 2
  • Jiangping Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Geophysics and GeomaticsChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.Kansas Geological SurveyThe University of KansasLawrenceUSA
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources, Institute of Geophysics and GeomaticsChina University of GeosciencesWuhanChina

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