Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 170, Issue 3, pp 299–318 | Cite as

Seismic Site Classification and Correlation between Standard Penetration Test N Value and Shear Wave Velocity for Lucknow City in Indo-Gangetic Basin

  • P. AnbazhaganEmail author
  • Abhishek Kumar
  • T. G. Sitharam


Subsurface lithology and seismic site classification of Lucknow urban center located in the central part of the Indo-Gangetic Basin (IGB) are presented based on detailed shallow subsurface investigations and borehole analysis. These are done by carrying out 47 seismic surface wave tests using multichannel analysis of surface waves (MASW) and 23 boreholes drilled up to 30 m with standard penetration test (SPT) N values. Subsurface lithology profiles drawn from the drilled boreholes show low- to medium-compressibility clay and silty to poorly graded sand available till depth of 30 m. In addition, deeper boreholes (depth >150 m) were collected from the Lucknow Jal Nigam (Water Corporation), Government of Uttar Pradesh to understand deeper subsoil stratification. Deeper boreholes in this paper refer to those with depth over 150 m. These reports show the presence of clay mix with sand and Kankar at some locations till a depth of 150 m, followed by layers of sand, clay, and Kankar up to 400 m. Based on the available details, shallow and deeper cross-sections through Lucknow are presented. Shear wave velocity (SWV) and N-SPT values were measured for the study area using MASW and SPT testing. Measured SWV and N-SPT values for the same locations were found to be comparable. These values were used to estimate 30 m average values of N-SPT (N 30) and SWV (V s 30 ) for seismic site classification of the study area as per the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) soil classification system. Based on the NEHRP classification, the entire study area is classified into site class C and D based on V s 30 and site class D and E based on N 30. The issue of larger amplification during future seismic events is highlighted for a major part of the study area which comes under site class D and E. Also, the mismatch of site classes based on N 30 and V s 30 raises the question of the suitability of the NEHRP classification system for the study region. Further, 17 sets of SPT and SWV data are used to develop a correlation between N-SPT and SWV. This represents a first attempt of seismic site classification and correlation between N-SPT and SWV in the Indo-Gangetic Basin.


Subsurface lithology site classification deep basin NEHRP MASW SPT 



The authors would like to thank the Ministry of Earth Science (MoES) for the funding project “Site Characterization of Lucknow urban centre with studies of Site Response and Liquefaction Hazard” ref. no. MoES/P.O.(Seismo)/23(656)/SU/2007. Thanks are also due to Jal Nigam, Government of Uttar Pradesh, India for providing necessary borehole data across Lucknow, which was found to be very useful in understanding the subsurface geology of Lucknow. Thanks go to Aditya Parihar and Naveen James for their help in conducting field studies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Anbazhagan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Abhishek Kumar
    • 1
  • T. G. Sitharam
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of ScienceBangaloreIndia

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