Acta Geophysica

, Volume 66, Issue 2, pp 121–130 | Cite as

Simulation of the microtremor H/V spectrum based on the theory of surface wave propagation in a layered half-space

  • Zhen Zhang
  • Xueliang Chen
  • Mengtan Gao
  • Zongchao Li
  • Qianfeng Li
Research Article - Solid Earth Sciences


Subsurface velocity structures must be estimated to predict long-period ground motions and seismic hazards. Subsurface velocity structures can be constructed via an inversion of the horizontal-to-vertical (H/V) spectral ratio of microtremor (MHV) curves; thus, a method of simulating the MHV curves is key. In this study, we use the H/V spectral ratio of the surface wave (SHV) based on the surface wave propagation theory in a layered half-space to simulate the MHV curves at sites A and B of the Yuxi basin. Then, we attempt to analyze the features of the SHV curves. We find the H/V ratio of the microtremor loading source to be independent of the peak frequency of the SHV curve, but it has some relation to the amplitude of the SHV curve. Moreover, to reduce the error in subsurface velocity structures obtained by the MHV curves, we suggest that the SHV curves at near-peak frequencies should not be considered in the inversion, because the amplitude deviation is higher at the peak frequency of the MHV curve. In addition, the best frequency ranges for the inversion of the microtremor H/V spectrum are between the peak and trough frequencies of the microtremor H/V spectrum.


Seismic hazard Velocity structure Microtremor Surface wave H/V spectrum Microtremor loading source 



This research work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51278470, 51678537) and the Key Laboratory of Seismic Observation and Geophysical Imaging Project. The microtremor records were obtained from the China Seismic Array at The authors thank the anonymous referees for their comments, which contributed to improving the work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences & Polish Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of GeophysicsChina Earthquake AdministrationBeijingChina
  2. 2.General Construction Company of CCTEB Group Co., Ltd.WuhanChina

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