Application of Holisurface Technique in MASW and HVSR Surveys for Site Characterisation at Ewoyaa, Ghana

A. Ewusi, M. Miezah-Adams, A. K. Klu, E. Ansah, J. Seidu


Over the past six years, exploration activities for lithium deposit have been conducted in Ewoyaa and its surrounding communities in the Central Region of Ghana. As part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s policies governing mining activities, it is substantially recommended to analyse the possible effects of blasting activities on the integrity of buildings in the area. In order to achieve this, site investigation was undertaken to classify the in-situ materials based on their dynamic properties and quantify their response capabilities to seismic waves. Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW) and seismic microtremor data for obtaining Horizontal to Vertical Spectral Ratio (HVSR) were acquired and analysed using the HoliSurface technique. The results from the Holisurface active MASW method were used to characterise the subsurface materials based on the Euro Code 8 (EC 8) for seismic response site classification for soil as a criterion, while the HVSR method to ascertain the level of vulnerability of the site to seismicity. The 3-component geophone was utilised within the holisurface framework for recording surface waves in both active and passive modes. The Vs30 values recorded at sites L100 and L300 were 299 m/s and 269 m/s, respectively, whereas site L200 recorded a Vs30 value of 1271 m/s. Thus, L100 and L300 belong to class C; moderate to dense subsurface materials while L200 falls in class A; rocky subsurface materials based on the Eurocode 8 seismic site classification for soils. The Vs values further helped to compute elastic moduli that revealed the competence of the survey areas, especially site L200. The study areas recorded natural peak frequencies ranging from 2.06 to 4.88 Hz, natural peak periods between 0.20 and 0.49 seconds and the vulnerability index (Kg) values from 0.30 to 6.34; depicting that Ewoyaa is a seismically safe area. It can therefore be inferred from the results of this study that the survey area is generally resilient, competent, and resistant to future blasting activities from mining.


Keywords: Site Characterisation, Shear Wave Velocity, Site Response, Microtremor Analysis, Vulnerability


Site Characterisation; Shear Wave Velocity; Site Response; Microtremor Analysis; Vulnerability

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