The application of HVSR method in detecting sediment thickness in karst collapse area of Pearl River Delta, China

  • Donghui Liang
  • Fuping Gan
  • Wei Zhang
  • Long Jia
Thematic Issue
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Karst Hydrogeology: Advances in Karst Collapse Studies


The microtremor horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio (HVSR, or H/V spectral ratio) method is an effective tool for detecting sediment thickness. Firstly, single-station microtremor measurements were taken beside 52 boreholes located in Pearl River Delta, China. Sediment thicknesses revealed by those boreholes range from 7.9 to 39.6 m. Then, those microtremor data were analyzed using HVSR method, and peak frequency of each site was extracted. According to those peak frequencies of HVSR and corresponding sediment thicknesses, the frequency-to-thickness fitting (fZ) equation which is suitable for Pearl River Delta area was established. And this equation was compared with several fitting equations derived from different regions by other researchers. Finally, this fitting equation was applied in a collapse area in Guangzhou city to estimate site sediment thickness. Compared with data from five boreholes in this collapse area, the consistency between estimated sediment thickness and real value was relatively good. Karst sinkholes are generally located in regions where thickness of sediments is shallow. Therefore, the method described in this paper can provide support for delineating potential collapse areas.


Microtremor HVSR Sediment thickness Fitting equation Karst sinkholes 



This work was jointly supported by China Geological Survey Project (Grant No. DD20160254) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41402284). The authors thank Xiaozhen Jiang and Fucai Wei for the helpful suggestions. We extend sincere gratitude to the editors of Environmental Earth Sciences and the anonymous reviews for the valuable advice on how to improve this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Karst Geology, CAGSGuilinChina
  2. 2.Karst Dynamics Laboratory, MLRGuilinChina

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