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Seismic Site Characterization for the Thyspunt Nuclear Siting Project

Ellen M. Rathje, Artur Cichowicz, and Denver Birch



Council of Geoscience
Report Number 2012-0136
Rev. 1








Confidential

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DOCUMENT APPROVAL SHEET


REVISION DESCRIPTION OF REVISION DATE MINOR
REVISIONS
APPROVAL
1 Added additional data from the second PS-suspension
logging survey done by SRK
12/11/2012





REFERENCE:
CGS REPORT
2012 0136



ESKOM
REVISION
1
COPY No.

Seismic Site Characterization for the
Thyspunt Nuclear Siting Project
DATE OF RELEASE:
12 November 2012

CONFIDENTIAL
AUTHORS
COMPILED BY:

COMPILED BY:

COMPILED BY:

ACCEPTED BY:

Ellen M. Rathje Artur Cichowicz Denver Birch N. Keyser
REVIEWED BY:

AUTHORISED BY:

Adrian Rodriguez-Marek G. Botha

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Executive Summary
A key element of the PSHA for the Thyspunt site is seismic characterization of the
uppermost layers at the site and the incorporation of their dynamic response into the estimation
of the design ground motions at the foundation level of the proposed nuclear power plant. The
seismic characterization performed at Thyspunt included measuring the shear-wave velocity of
the geologic materials as a function of depth at different locations across the site. Two types of
field testing were used: multi-channel analysis of surface waves (MASW) and PS suspension
logging. The resulting velocity profiles are presented, compared, and interpreted within the
geologic setting of the site in this report. The velocity information is used to identify a reference
rock condition in terms of the average shear wave velocity over 30 m (V
s30
).
The geologic setting at the site indicates a surface layer of sand with variable thickness,
underlain by soft to hard rock. The foundation level of the proposed nuclear power plant has
been specified as below the sand layer; therefore, the most relevant velocity information is for
the underlying rock. Generally, the shear wave velocity profiles developed from the MASW
method provided less detail regarding velocity variations versus depth than the profiles
developed from PS suspension logging. The MASW profiles indicated that the shear wave
velocity of the rock underlying the sand was 2,000 m/s, and that this velocity extended for a
thickness of about 80 m. The velocity of the rock below this layer was 3,000 m/s. The velocity
profiles from PS suspension logging, on average, showed that the velocities of the rock varied
from about 1,500 m/s immediately beneath the sand to about 3,000 m/s at a location 60 m
below the sand/rock interface. Additionally, the PS logging indicated significant variation
between the profiles at different locations across the site while the MASW indicated very similar
profiles at the various locations across the site. The velocity information is used to define a
reference rock condition of V
s30
=3,000 m/s, which has been agreed by the GMC TI Team as
the target reference for the ground-motion prediction models.



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Acknowledgements
The work presented in this report would not have been possible without the help and
dedication of various people. Mr. Henni de Beer of ESKOM facilitated access to the site and
provided assistance in clearing the MASW test locations. Vincent J ele, Robert Kometsi and
Leonard Tabane of the CGS assisted with the MASW field work. Wits University provided some
equipment for use in the active MASW testing. IMS (Institute of Mine Seismology) performed
the passive MASW experiments. Dr. Choon Park of Park Seismic, Inc. was available to give
daily feedback during the MASW data collection, despite the large time difference between the
U.S. and South Africa, and he also performed the final processing of the MASW data. J ohann
Neveling of CGS provided logistical assistance and managed the boring operations for Phase 1
of the PS logging, while Bruce Engelsman coordinated Phase 2 of the PS logging. Mr. Graham
Comber of Robertson Geologging performed the PS logging measurements and made the data
available in a timely manner.























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Table of Contents

Executive Summary ................................................................................................................. ii
Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................. iii
1. Introduction ...................................................................................................................... 1
2. Results from Multi-Channel Anal ysis of Surface Wave (MASW) Testing ..................... 3
2.1. Field Data Collection and Processing ........................................................................... 3
2.2. Dispersion Images and Velocity Profile Inversions ....................................................... 5
3. Results from PS Suspension Logging ............................................................................ 9
3.1. Testing Procedures and Data Analysis ......................................................................... 9
3.2. Velocity Profiles Measured by PS Suspension Logging: Phase 1 ............................... 10
3.3. Comparison of MASW and Phase 1 PS Logging Results ........................................... 15
3.4. Velocity Profiles Measured by PS Suspension Logging: Phase 2 ............................... 19
3.5. Average Velocity Profile and Associated Variability .................................................... 23
4. Use of Vs Profile in Defining Design Ground Motions ................................................. 25
4.1. Integrating Site Response into PSHA ......................................................................... 25
4.2. Vs Characterization and its Implications ..................................................................... 28
References .............................................................................................................................. 31






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1. Introduction

The seismic site characterization for the Thyspunt Nuclear Siting Project involves the
measurement of the shear wave velocity (Vs) as a function of depth at multiple locations across
the site. The shear wave velocity structure of the geologic materials underlying the site
influences expected levels of ground shaking for a given seismic event, and therefore it affects
the ground motion hazard at the site.
Two distinct field methods were used to measure shear wave velocity at the site: the multi-
channel analysis of surface waves (MASW) and PS suspension logging. MASW testing was
performed at six locations across the Thyspunt site (Figure 1.1). PS suspension logging took
place in two phases. Phase 1 consisted of testing at six locations (Figure 1.1), while Phase 2
consisted of testing at an additional 23 locations (Figure 1.2). The majority of the testing was
performed within the Goudini formation, the geologic unit underlying the current location of the
footprint of the Thyspunt facilities. The other testing sites were located on the adjacent
formations of Skurweberg, Cederberg, or Peninsula. A significant layer of sand overlies much
of the site. This layer is absent along the southern coastline (Figure 1.1), but inland ranges
from a few meters to more than 20 m thick. The thickness of the sand layer generally increases
as one moves inland from the southern coastline.
The MASW method measures the dispersion (i.e., variation of phase velocity as a function
of wave frequency) of Rayleigh-type surface waves using geophones placed along the ground
surface. This information is used to infer a shear wave velocity profile versus depth. MASW is
a non-intrusive method that does not require boreholes, but the shear wave velocity profile is
not directly measured. The MASW testing locations are indicated by green crosses in Figure
1.1.
The PS suspension logging method directly measures the shear wave velocity at different
depths within a borehole using travel time measurements between locations a known distance
apart. Shear (and compression) waves are generated by a probe that is inserted in a fluid-filled
borehole, these waves travel vertically through the soil or rock immediately adjacent the
borehole, and the passage of these waves is recorded on geophones located within the
borehole. By identify the arrival of the waves at each of two receivers and knowing the distance
between receivers (generally 1 m), a velocity is computed. Velocity measurements are made
approximately every 0.5 m.
This report describes the results of the shear wave velocity characterization, identifies a
reference rock condition in terms of the average shear wave velocity over 30 m (Vs30),
develops a statistical model for the shear wave velocities across the site for use in site response

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analyses, and describes how this information will be used to develop the design ground motions
at the site.

Figure 1.1: Locations of MASW testing and Phase 1 PS suspension logging sites (i.e. labelled
deep boreholes) across the Thyspunt site.

Figure 1.2: Locations of Phase 1 and Phase 2 PS suspension logging sites.

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2. Results from Multi-Channel Anal ysis of Surface Wave (MASW) Testing

This section summarizes the data collection and analysis efforts for the six MASW testing
sites at Thyspunt. Additionally, the interpreted shear wave velocity profiles for each site are
described. The six MASW testing locations are shown in Figure 2.1, with Sites 1 and 2 found in
the Skurweberg formation and Sites 3-6 found in the Goudini formation. Data was collected by
the Council for Geoscience (CGS), with assistance from Drs. Ellen M Rathje and Adrian
Rodriguez-Marek, and IMS (Institute of Mine Seismology), while data analysis and velocity
profile inversion were performed by Park Seismic, Inc. Park (2011) provides detailed
information regarding the MASW data analysis.


Figure 2.1: Locations of the six MASW testing sites across the Thyspunt site.

2.1. Field Data Collection and Processing
The MASW method involves measuring the dispersion (i.e., the variation of phase velocity
as a function of wave frequency) of Rayleigh-type surface waves using geophones placed along
the ground surface. Surface waves may be generated actively through impact from a
sledgehammer or drop of a large mass (e.g., rock), or generated passively through ambient
vibrations of the surroundings. For either method, geophones placed in a linear or cross

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geometry along the ground surface measure the vertical vibrations of surface waves as they
travel across the array. These recorded waves are processed to generate a dispersion image,
which describes the Rayleigh-wave phase velocity as a function of frequency. The final step in
the analysis is the development of a one-dimensional shear wave velocity profile that produces
a theoretical dispersion curve that matches the measured dispersion curve.
Active MASW was performed at each of the six sites using a linear array of 48 4.5-Hz
geophone receivers (Figure 2.2). Testing was performed using array spacings (dx) of 1 m and
4 m, and source offsets (X1) ranging from 2 to 50 m for the 1-m spacing and 4 to 100 m for the
4-m spacing. Both a sledgehammer and rock drop were used as the seismic source. The rock
drop generated lower frequency energy than the sledgehammer and allowed the dispersion
curve to be extended to lower frequencies and, as a result, the velocity profiles to be extended
to deeper depths. Active MASW testing took place in May 2011 with Denver Birch of CGS and
additional CGS support personnel on site throughout, and they were assisted by Drs. Artur
Cichowicz, Ellen M. Rathje, and Adrian Rodriguez-Marek at various times during the 2+weeks
of testing. During initial testing, Dr. Choon Park of Park Seismic, Inc. provided almost real-time
data quality assessment while in the USA. This process involved sending digital files of the
receiver recordings each evening to Park and receiving back an assessment by early the next
morning. These assessments allowed the field team to optimize its testing and data collection
procedures.


Figure 2.2: General geometry of linear receiver array used in active MASW.

Passive MASW testing at the six sites took place in August 2011. This testing was
performed by IMS, with assistance of D. Birch of CGS. Passive MASW requires a two-
dimensional array across the ground surface (Figure 2.3), such that the direction of the ambient
vibrations can be evaluated and used in the data interpretation. Processing and interpretation
of the passive MASW data was performed by IMS (Green et al. 2011). Park Seismic also used
the passive MASW data in his analyses and interpretations. The analyses by Park Seismic
generally involved integration of the active and passive wave data into a single dispersion
image over a broad range of frequencies.

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Figure 2.3: Geometry of two-dimensional receiver array used in passive MASW.

Because the Park (2011) report integrated the active and passive MASW data, while the
IMS report only used the passive data, and based on the experience of C. Park (the developer
of the MASW method), the results from Park (2011) are used exclusively in this report.

2.2. Dispersion Images and Velocity Profile Inversions
The derived dispersion images (Rayleigh phase velocity vs. frequency) for the combined
active and passive MASW data from Park (2011) for each of the six sites are shown in Figure
2.4. Sites 2-6 display similar dispersion images, with the phase velocity well constrained at
frequencies greater than about 12 Hz and a wider zone indicated a lower frequencies. At high
frequencies, the phase velocity is close to 500 m/s and represents the velocity of the sand layer
overlying the rock. At lower frequencies the phase velocity increases towards 2,000 to 3,000
m/s, and represents the velocity of the rock. Site 1 displays a different dispersion image in
which the phase velocity is in the 2,000 to 3,000 m/s range over most of the frequencies. Site 1
had minimal sand cover (based on field observations and borings in the area), and therefore the
dispersion image does not indicate the lower velocities of an overlying sand layer.
In most MASW interpretations, the fundamental mode (M0) is assumed to dominate the
data, and in this case an M0 curve is extracted from the dispersion image and used to compare
with theoretical M0 dispersion curves computed for theoretical one-dimensional shear wave
velocity profiles. The Vs profile that provides a theoretical M0 dispersion curve the best
matches the extracted M0 dispersion curve from the field data is considered the best estimate
of the Vs profile at the site. However, the dispersion data did not present a narrow band of
identified phase velocities at low frequencies (note the wide range of velocities with large
amplitude at low frequencies in Figure 2.4), making it difficult to select a M0 curve with
confidence (Park 2011). This trend in the dispersion data indicates that multiple modes of

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Rayleigh wave propagation may be present in the dispersion data, which is not uncommon for
sites with a large velocity contrast such as the sand/rock interface at Thyspunt. Therefore, Park
(2011) employed a multi-mode analysis in which the first six modes (M0-M5) for an assumed Vs
profile are compared with the dispersion image. The Vs profile was modified until an acceptable
match was obtained between the measured dispersion image and various modes of the
theoretical dispersion curves. Park (2011) developed both three-layer and five-layer Vs models
to fit the dispersion image.

Figure 2.4: Dispersion images from combined active and passive MASW data for the 6 sites

Figure 2.5 shows the M0-M5 theoretical dispersion curves for the final five-layer velocity
models for each site along with the measured dispersion images. The area labelled CA
represents a zone of computational artifacts that were not considered in the comparison
between the theoretical dispersion curve and the measured dispersion images. For each site,
the dispersion data at frequencies greater than about 15 Hz are fit best by either the M0 or M1
Site 1
Site 2
Site 3
P
h
a
s
e

V
e
l
o
c
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y

(
m
/
s
)
P
h
a
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V
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(
m
/
s
)
P
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a
s
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V
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(
m
/
s
)
Frequency (Hz)
Frequency (Hz)
Frequency (Hz)
Site 4
Site 5
Site 6
P
h
a
s
e

V
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y

(
m
/
s
)
P
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a
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V
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(
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P
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V
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(
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Frequency (Hz)
Frequency (Hz)
Frequency (Hz)

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curves. At lower frequencies, very little M0 energy is present (except for Site 1, which had no
sand cover) and the measured dispersion generally represents a combination of M1 and M2.
Despite the generally good fit between the theoretical dispersion curves and the measured
dispersion images in Figure 2.5, there remains considerable uncertainty with respect to the
exact velocities because the width of the dispersion data is so wide at frequencies below about
12 Hz. This issue will be considered further in the section on PS logging.




Figure 2.5: Measured dispersion images from combined active and passive MASW data at
Sites 1-6 along with the M0-M5 theoretical dispersion curves for the final five-layer velocity
models.

Figure 2.6 presents the five-layer and three-layer Vs models developed by Park (2011) to
best-fit the measured dispersion images. The five-layer and three-layer models are similar for
each site and even across sites. A sand layer is found at the surface (although this is very thin
for Site 1), followed by a thick layer (~90 m) of rock with a shear wave velocity between 1,800
and 2,200 m/s, followed by a half-space with a shear wave velocity of about 3,200 m/s. The
C
A
M0 M1
M2
M3
M4
M5
C
A
C
A
C
A
C
A
C
A
Site 1
Site 2
Site 3
Site 4
Site 5
Site 6

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similarity of the velocities across the two geologic units (Site 1 and 2 are on the Skurweberg
formation while Sites 3-6 are on the Goudini formation) is surprising because field descriptions
and previous laboratory testing identified the Skurweberg formation as harder than the Goudini.
The 90-m thick layer of constant velocity is also surprising and most likely only represents the
average velocity over that depth range. Because of the limited resolution at low frequencies
(which profile the deepest), only an average velocity of this range could be established by
MASW.

Figure 2.6: Five-layer and three-layer velocity models developed from MASW testing and
interpretation by Park (2011)
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
0 1000 2000 3000 4000
D
e
p
t
h

(
m
)
Vs (m/s)
Site 1-Sk
Site 2-Sk
Site 3-G
Site 4-G
Site 5-G
Site 6-G
5-layer models
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
0 1000 2000 3000 4000
D
e
p
t
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(
m
)
Vs (m/s)
Site 1-Sk
Site 2-Sk
Site 3-G
Site 4-G
Site 5-G
Site 6-G
3-layer models

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3. Results from PS Suspension Logging

This section summarizes the data collection and analysis efforts for the PS suspension
logging sites at Thyspunt. PS suspension logging took place in two phases. Phase 1 consisted
of testing at six locations, while Phase 2 consisted of testing at an additional 23 locations.
Phase 1 testing was coordinated by CGS and took place between J une and November 2011,
while Phase 2 was coordinated by SRK Consulting and took place between J une and October
2012. After the boreholes were drilled and prepared for testing during each phase, Robertson
Geologging Ltd from the UK performed the PS suspension logging. The data was processed by
Graham Comber of Robertson Geologging Ltd. For detailed information of the PS testing and
data analysis from Phase 1, please refer to Comber (2012). Additional details about the field
drilling and PS logging for Phase 2 are found in Engelsman and Constable (2012).

3.1. Testing Procedures and Data Anal ysis
PS suspension logging is a borehole technique that measures the shear and compression
wave velocity of the material adjacent to the borehole wall. The technique uses a long probe,
approximately 7 m long, that contains a seismic wave source and two sets of receivers. A
photograph of the probe on the ground surface is shown in Figure 3.1. Each set of receivers
consists of a hydrophone to measure compression waves and a horizontally-polarized
geophone to measure shear waves. The probe is placed in a fluid filled borehole and the
seismic source is excited to generate shear and compression waves. These waves travel
through the fluid, to the material adjacent to the borehole, and then propagate vertically through
the adjacent material. The two receivers are approximately 1-m apart and measure the relevant
motion as the waves pass their location. The propagation of shear and compression waves are
measured during separate excitations of the seismic source. The wave traces recorded by the
receivers are used to identify the arrival of the waves at each location. The difference in the
arrival times between the two receivers and the known distance between the receivers allows
an average velocity to be calculated. Recordings are taken every 0.5 m, such that shear and
compression wave velocities are obtained every 0.5 m within the borehole.
The recordings were processed by Graham Comber of Robertson Geologging Ltd. The
processing procedure involves the identification of wave arrivals in each record via visual
interpretation. For shear waves, recordings are made for both a forward and reverse
polarization, and the velocities indicated by these two recordings are averaged for each depth.
For compression waves, only a single polarization can be recorded and thus only one velocity is
reported for each depth.

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Figure 3.1: PS suspension probe used by Robertson Geologging. The source is located near
the bottom of the probe and the receivers located above.


3.2. Velocity Profiles Measured by PS Suspension Logging: Phase 1
The six deep boreholes in which PS suspension logging was performed are shown in Figure
3.2. Boreholes New29 and New30 are found in the Skurweberg formation and boreholes
New27, New28, NewA/C, and New B are found in the Goudini formation. PS suspension
logging was performed in six deep boreholes. Boreholes New27 through New30 are deep
boreholes that had previously been drilled to depths beyond 100 m under the direction of SRK
Consulting Engineers and Scientists in 2008. These holes were re-drilled under the direction of
CGS because the borehole diameter was too small to accommodate the PS probe. Boreholes
NewA/C and NewB are new deep boreholes that were drilled by CGS in 2011. NewA was
drilled first, but it was abandoned because of collapse issues. NewC was drilled adjacent to
NewA. To prepare the boreholes for PS logging, metal casing was grouted in place to support
the boreholes through the surficial sand layer. Metal casing was extended about 15 m into the
rock for borehole NewC because of concerns that the borehole would collapse in a manner
similar to NewA. Generally, the sections of the boreholes in rock were left uncased, except for
boreholes NewB and New30. These boreholes showed signs of instability, and therefore were
cased with plastic casing and grouted.



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Figure 3.1: Locations of the six deep boreholes used for PS suspension logging across the
Thyspunt site.

The velocities measured by PS suspension logging are influenced by the presence of metal
casing because the large stiffness/velocity of the metal interferes with the wave transmission
and propagation within the soil/rock. Therefore, only velocities measured at depths with plastic
casing or no casing are considered representative of the natural materials. A summary of the
various conditions in the boreholes used in the PS suspension logging for Phase 1 is provided
in Table 3.1.
The shear wave velocity data were provided at approximately 0.5 m intervals over the
depths logged. Velocities from PS suspension logging can display large variations over short
distances, and therefore to better observe overall trends (i.e., velocity variation with depth) the
reported velocities were also filtered by averaging 5 adjacent values. This filtered profile is
shown along with the reported values. Additionally, the velocities are only shown for depths
more than 1 m below the base of the metal casing. Because the metal casing generally
extends through any sand cover, the measured velocities only represent those of the rock
layers.





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Table 3.1: Summary of PS Suspension Logging
New27 New28 NewB NewC New29 New30
Geologic
Unit
Goudini Goudini Goudini Goudini Skurweberg Skurweberg
Depth
Drilled
84 m 74 m 103 m 115 m 79 m 73.5 m
Depth
Measured
76 m 74.2 m 87 m 115 m 64.5 m 73.5 m

Borehole
Elevation
16 m 24 m 24 m 24.5 m 3 m 12 m
Sand
Cover
15 m 19 m 24.5 m 27 m 0 m 7 m
Depth of
Metal
Casing
19 m 23 m 20.5 m 43 m 0 m 7 m

Condition
of Logged
Depths
Uncased Uncased
Plastic
Casing
Uncased Uncased
Plastic
Casing
Log From 16 m 21.5 m 19.5 m 38.5 m 2.5 m 2.5 m
Log To 72 m 70.4 m 83 m 111 m 60.5 m 69.3 m

Figure 3.3 shows the shear wave velocity profiles measured in boreholes New27 and New
28, each of which is located in the Goudini formation and approximately 0.5 km from the
southern coastline (Figure 3.1). Both of these profiles indicate a shear wave velocity of
between 1,600 and 2,000 m/s near the top of the rock (i.e., below the sand) and the velocity
increases to about 3,000 m/s at a depth of 60 to 70 m. The borehole logs for both holes
generally describe the material at depths from 20 to 50 m as medium hard quartzitic sandstone,
and the materials at depths below 50 m as hard to very hard quartzitic sandstone.


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Figure 3.3: Measured shear wave velocity profiles from PS suspension logging of boreholes
New27 and New28 in the Goudini formation.

Figure 3.4: Measured shear wave velocity profiles from PS suspension logging of boreholes
NewB and NewC in the Goudini formation.
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
0 1000 2000 3000 4000
D
e
p
t
h

(
m
)
Vs (m/s)
NEW27
Filtered
From Lab E
Hard
sandstone
Medium
hard
sandstone
Sand
(0-15 m)
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
0 1000 2000 3000 4000
D
e
p
t
h

(
m
)
Vs (m/s)
NEW28
Filtered
From Lab E
Hard
sandstone
Medium
hard
sandstone
Sand
(0-19 m)
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
0 1000 2000 3000 4000
D
e
p
t
h

(
m
)
Vs (m/s)
NEWB
Filtered
Soft mud/siltstone
Sand
(0-25 m)
Sandstone
Slightly soft (35-40 m)
Hard (> 40 m)
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
0 1000 2000 3000 4000
D
e
p
t
h

(
m
)
Vs (m/s)
NEWC
Filtered
Moderately
hard shale
and
sandstone
Hard
sandstone
Moderately
hard to soft
shale and
sandstone
Sand
(0-27 m)

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Figure 3.4 shows the shear wave velocity profiles measured in boreholes NewB and NewC,
each of which is located in the Goudini formation. NewB is located approximately 1.0 km from
the southern coastline and 0.5 km from the eastern coastline (i.e., the beach in Figure 3.1),
while New C is located approximately 1.0 km from both the southern and eastern coastlines
(Figure 3.1). The NewB profile shows velocities between 1,000 and 1,500 m/s from depths of
25 to 40 m. At 40 m depth, the velocity makes a significant jump to 3,000 m/s and this velocity
is generally maintained through a depth of 80 m (the deepest measurement). The material at
depths between 25 and 40 m is generally described as soft mudstone, siltstone, and sandstone,
while the material between depths of 40 and 80 m is described as hard quartzitic sandstone.
The NewC profile does not report any velocities in the rock above a depth of about 45 m
because metal casing was installed to 43 m to ensure the stability of the borehole. PS logging
does not provide accurate velocity measurements over depths where metal casing is installed;
therefore the shear wave velocity of the rock in NewC from depths of 27 m to 45 m is unknown.
This material is described in the borehole logs as soft to moderately hard shale and sandstone.
From depths of 45 to 110 m, the velocity generally increases from 1,800 m/s to 2,800 m/s, with
a low velocity zone at about 65 m depth (Vs ~1,400 m/s) and a high velocity zone at about 90
m depth (Vs ~3,000 m/s). The material from depths of 45 to 83 m is described as moderately
hard sandstone, while the material from 83 to 110 m is described as hard sandstone.
Figure 3.5 shows the shear wave velocity profiles measured in boreholes New29 and
New30, each of which is located in the Skurweberg formation and within about 200 m of the
southern coastline (Figure 3.1). The velocities measured in New29 are almost all above 3,000
m/s, with an average of about 3,300 m/s over the depths from 5 to 60 m. The velocities
measured in New30 range from an average of 2,000 m/s from 7 to 22 m depth, to an average of
2,600 m/s at larger depths. On average, the velocities measured near the rock surface in the
Skurweberg formation are larger than those in the Goudini formation, and the measured
velocities generally agree with the descriptions of very hard rock for New29 and hard to very
hard rock for New30.


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Figure 3.5: Measured shear wave velocity profiles from PS suspension logging of boreholes
New29 and New30 in the Skurweberg formation.


3.3. Comparison of MASW and Phase 1 PS Logging Results
The velocity information obtained for the Goudini formation by MASW testing and Phase 1
PS logging are compared in this section of the report. Because the Skurweberg formation is no
longer considered a viable location for the facility, the data collected in that formation are not
considered further.
Figure 4.1 plots the various shear wave velocity profiles measured in the Goudini formation.
For comparison, the interpreted profiles from the four MASW sites are shown along with those
measured by PS logging during Phase 1 (label based on the borehole locations). The MASW
profiles show velocities for the surface sand layer because, as a surface technique, MASW
provides information at the surface and at depth. The PS logging profiles are shown only over
the depths below which metal casing extended (see Table 3.1), and therefore contains no
information about the sand. The current facility plan includes removal of the sand, and
therefore the characterization of the sand is not a concern. The velocity profiles in Figure 3.6
show consistency between the MASW and PS logging results, although the PS logging
provides more detail regarding vertical variations with depth. Generally, the MASW profiles
show an 80-m thick layer with Vs ~1,800 m/s extending below the sand, which is underlain by a
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
0 1000 2000 3000 4000
D
e
p
t
h

(
m
)
Vs (m/s)
NEW29
Filtered
From Lab E
Very
hard rock
Sand(0-3 m)
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
0 1000 2000 3000 4000
D
e
p
t
h

(
m
)
Vs (m/s)
NEW30
Filtered
From Lab E
Hard to
very hard
rock
Sand (0-12 m)

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half-space with Vs ~3,000 m/s. The PS logging profiles also generally show velocities ranging
from 2,000 m/s to 3,000 m/s within 80 m of the sand/rock interface. However, these profiles
show a gradual increase in shear wave velocity between 2,000 and 3,000 m/s, rather than the
abrupt increase interpreted from the MASW data. As discussed in Section 2, there is significant
uncertainty in the MASW-interpreted velocity profiles, particularly at depth, because multiple
surface wave modes are present in the data.
To better compare the velocity profiles measured by PS logging at locations with different
depths of sand cover, the velocity data are plotted versus elevation in Figure 3.7. Note that
rock is generally encountered at an elevation of 0 5 m at each borehole, and deeper metal
casing in NewC precluded making measurements in the first 20 m of rock (Table 3.1). The
velocity profiles from New27 and New28 are very similar, showing Vs ~1,800 at the top of rock
and gradually increasing to Vs ~3,000 m/s at an elevation of -40 m. The profiles measured at
NewB and NewC show some different characteristics from those measured at New27 and
New28. The profile at NewB shows Vs ~1,000 to 1,500 m/s near the top of rock and then
abruptly increases to Vs ~3,000 m/s at an elevation of -20 m. The profile at NewC, which
begins approximately 17 m below the sand/rock interface, shows consistently smaller velocities
at each depth compared to the other three boreholes. The profile at NewC eventually reaches
Vs ~3,000 m/s, but it reaches that value approximately 20 to 40 m deeper than the other
profiles.

Figure 3.6: Shear wave velocity profiles measured by MASW and PS logging within the Goudini
formation
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
0 1000 2000 3000 4000
D
e
p
t
h

(
m
)
Vs (m/s)
NEW27
NEW28
NEWB
NEWC
MASW
Each pt represents avg of 5 measurements

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Figure 3.7: Shear wave velocity profiles measured by PS logging within the Goudini formation.
Data plotted versus elevation.
-100
-80
-60
-40
-20
0
20
0 1000 2000 3000 4000
E
l
e
v
a
t
i
o
n

(
m
)
Vs (m/s)
NEW27
NEW28
NEWB
NEWC
Each pt represents avg of 5 measurements

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Figure 3.8: Average shear wave velocity profile and variability in shear wave velocities (
lnVs
)
for PS logging data collected within the Goudini formation.

-100
-80
-60
-40
-20
0
20
0 1000 2000 3000 4000
E
l
e
v
a
t
i
o
n

(
m
)
Vs (m/s)
NEW27
NEW28
NEWB
NEWC
AVERAGE
-100
-80
-60
-40
-20
0
20
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
E
l
e
v
a
t
i
o
n

(
m
)
Sigma (lnVs)

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The shear wave velocity profiles in Figure 3.7 show that the shear wave velocity reaches a
value of 3,000 m/s at some depth at each measured location. Based on the velocity information,
a reference rock condition of Vs30 equal to 3,000 m/s (Vs30 is the average shear wave velocity
over 30 m) is identified for use in the development of the hard rock seismic hazard. This rock
seismic hazard will represent the input into the seismic site response analyses. While only the
profile at NewB sustains 3,000 m/s over a distance of 30 m, it is inferred from the velocity
profiles that each will reach Vs30 ~3,000 m/s within a relatively short distance below the
profiled depth.
Figure 3.8 plots the average shear wave velocity profile derived from the four velocity
profiles measured by PS logging in the Goudini formation, as well as the standard deviation of
the natural log of the Vs data (
lnVs
) as a function of depth. The standard deviation is only
shown over depths where there are three or more measurements of shear wave velocity. The
average shear wave velocity profile is only shown to an elevation of -60 m because only one
borehole (NewC) extends beyond -60 m. Between elevations of 0 to -60 m, the average shear
wave velocity profile gradually increases from about 1,300 to 2,900 m/s. The
lnVs
varies
considerably with depth, with values ranging from 0.35 to 0.025. Generally, over the depths
sampled the average
lnVs
is about 0.2. Typically, variability in Vs decreases with increasing
depth because the causes of lateral variability (e.g., weathering, erosion, variable depositional
environment) are minimized. The data in Figure 3.8 do not support a reduction in
lnVs
with
depth, mostly because of the smaller velocities measured at NewC.
With the limited Vs data available and the variability in the data obtained, there is genuine
epistemic uncertainty in the average shear wave velocity profile and its variability. The different
velocity profiles will result in different ground responses and surface motions, and therefore this
epistemic uncertainty must be carried through the site response analyses and into the hazard
assessment. Large uncertainties on the site amplification could potentially lead to amplified
hazard estimates at the site. However, these uncertainties can be reduced with additional
collection of shear wave velocity data across the facility footprint within the Goudini formation.
Therefore, a second phase of PS suspension logging was performed to better quantify the
average shear wave velocity profile and its variability.

3.4. Velocity Profiles Measured by PS Suspension Logging: Phase 2
The locations of the 23 boreholes in which PS suspension logging was performed during
Phase 2 are shown in Figure 3.9. The majority of these boreholes extended approximately 50
m into rock in an effort to quantify the shear wave velocity variability in the near-surface. Four
of the 23 profiles extended up to 80-100 m into rock. Generally, plastic casing was used to
support the boreholes where necessary. The basic testing procedures and data analysis used

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in Phase 2 are the same as used in Phase 1 and described in Section 3.1. Therefore, this
section focuses on compiling the shear wave velocity data measured during Phase 2 and
integrating it with the data collected during Phase 1.
The shear wave velocity profiles are initially plotted in groups of 5 to 6 to facilitate viewing
individual profiles. These groups are indicated in Figure 3.10 along with the locations of the
geologic units across the site. Most of the boreholes are located within the Goudini formation.
Borehole NewN is located within the transition between the Goudini and Skurweberg formations,
while boreholes NewM, NewQ, and NewU are located within the transition between the Goudini
and Cederberg formations. Borehole NewK is the sole borehole located within the Peninsula
formation and is plotted separately. The shear wave velocity profiles for each group are plotted
versus depth below rock in Figure 3.11.


Figure 3.9: Locations of the 23 deep boreholes used for PS suspension logging during Phase 2
testing (from SRK Consulting).




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Figure 3.10: Groups of Vs profiles plotted in Figure 3.11.

The Group 1 shear wave velocity profiles in Figure 3.11(a) are generally consistent with
each other; the velocity increases from about 1,200 m/s at the top of rock to about 3,000 m/s at
a depth of 60 m. The Group 2 shear wave velocity profiles in Figure 3.11(b) are mostly around
1,800 m/s at the top of rock and increase to 3,000 m/s at 60 m. The exception is borehole
NewY, which maintains a velocity of about 1,000 m/s from 0 to 40 m. The boring logs for NewY
describe the rock at this location as being softer and more heavily jointed than in other locations.
The Group 3 shear wave velocity profiles in Figure 3.11(c) generally indicate the velocity
increasing from about 1,200 m/s at the top of rock to about 3,000 m/s at a depth of 40 to 60 m.
The one exception is the top 15 m of borehole NewN. Note that this borehole is in the transition
zone between Skurweberg and Goudini, and thus contains layers of both materials. The large
shear wave velocity in the top 15 m of this borehole (Vs ~2,000 3,000 m/s) is consistent with
the Skurweberg formation (Figure 3.5) and most likely represents this material. At depths below
15 m, the velocities in borehole NewN are consistent with the others measured in the Goudini
formation. The Group 4 shear wave velocity profiles in Figure 3.11(d) again show velocities
ranging from about 1,200 m/s at the top of rock to about 3,000 m/s at depths of 40-60 m. Note
that boreholes NewQ and NewU are located in the Goudini/Cederberg transition, but the
velocities from these boreholes are consistent with those measured in the Goudini. The velocity
profile that is most distinct from the others in Group 4 is borehole NewX, which maintains
velocities below 2,000 m/s at all depths between 0 and 40 m. The Group 5 shear wave velocity

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(a) (b)

(c) (d)
Figure 3.11: Shear wave velocity profiles measured across the Thyspunt site.


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Figure 3.11 (continued): Shear wave velocity profiles measured across the Thyspunt site.

profiles in Figure 3.11(e) are more variable than those measured in other groups. At a depth of
20 m the velocities range from about 1,200 to 2,800 m/s, but together the velocity profiles
generally show an increase with depth. Finally, the shear wave velocity profile for NewK is
plotted in Figure 3.11(f). This borehole is located in the Peninsula formation and the shear
wave velocities at depths less than 40 m are much larger than those in the Goudini and
Cederberg formations.

3.5. Average Velocity Profile and Associated Variability
The shear wave velocity profiles measured by PS logging (Phase 1 and 2) within the
Goudini and Cederberg formations are plotted in Figure 3.12. The average velocity profile
starts at about 1,200 m/s at the top of rock and linearly increases to 3,000 m/s at about 60 m
depth. Figure 3.13 plots the standard deviation of the natural log of the Vs data (
lnVs
) as a
function of depth, as well as the number of shear wave velocity points available at each depth.
The standard deviation is only shown over depths where there are three or more measurements
of shear wave velocity. Generally,
lnVs
decreases with depth, with values of 0.2 to 0.3 near the
surface and values close to 0.1 at depth. The variability increases at depths greater than about
70 m but this caused by the reduction in the number of velocity profiles at these depths. The
values of
lnVs
in Figure 3.13 are generally smaller than those computed from the Phase 1 PS
logging (Figure 3.8) due to the increase in data collected through Phase 2.

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Figure 3.12: Average and individual shear wave velocity profiles measured within the Goudini
and Cederberg formations across the Thyspunt site.

Figure 3.13: Variability in the shear wave velocities (
lnVs
) and number of Vs points available
versus depth.

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4. Use of Vs Profile in Defining Design Ground Motions
The design ground motions for a site must consider the influence of the near-surface
geomaterials. This effect is commonly modelled through numerical simulation of wave
propagation from the reference rock at depth through the overlying soil/rock layers to the depth
of the foundation level of the proposed nuclear power plant. The characterization required to
perform these simulations involves measurement of the shear-wave velocity profile versus
depth down to the reference rock condition, and quantification of the nonlinear properties of the
geomaterials. To incorporate the uncertainties in the wave propagation analysis (often called
site response analysis) into the hazard assessment, the PSHA is performed first for the
reference rock condition, and then the site response results and its uncertainty are incorporated
to generate hazard curves that represent the depth of interest. The approach for incorporating
site response into PSHA is summarized below, along with the data required and the issues that
need to be addressed to perform the analysis.

4.1. Integrating Site Response into PSHA
Before integrating site response into the PSHA, a PSHA is performed for the reference rock
conditions at the site. Reference rock is considered the competent rock at depth below which
wave propagation can be adequately modelled within a ground motion prediction equation. The
relevant characteristics of the reference rock are V
s30
and kappa (
0
). V
s30
has been defined
previously, but kappa requires some additional explanation. Kappa represents the frequency-
independent component of attenuation (i.e., damping) of the reference rock and it controls the
high frequency decay of ground motions. Larger values of kappa result in less high-frequency
motion, while smaller values of kappa result in more high-frequency motion. With the
appropriate V
s30
defined for the reference rock, along with the associated kappa, appropriate
ground-motion prediction equations can be selected for the reference rock PSHA. These
ground ground-motion prediction equations are used with the source characterization model to
generate hazard curves for the reference rock condition at the site.
The dynamic response of the near-surface geomaterials above the reference rock will
modify the characteristics of ground shaking. The term ground surface will be used to represent
the top of the near-surface geomaterials, but note that for Thyspunt the ground surface
represents the foundation level of the proposed nuclear power plant. The modification to a
spectral acceleration for reference rock is quantified by an amplification factor (AF), which
represents the ratio of the spectral acceleration at the surface at a given spectral period divided
by the spectral acceleration at the reference outcrop rock at the same period (AF =Sa,surface /
Sa,rock). Amplification factors can be computed for the specific conditions at a site through site

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response simulations that incorporate the shear wave velocity profile that extends from the
reference rock up to the ground surface. There is variability in the computed amplification
factors due to differences in input motions and variability in the site characteristics across the
site. This variability must be included in the computation of the hazard curves for the ground
surface. A convolution approach (Bazzurro and Cornell 2004, McGuire et al. 2001) is used to
achieve this objective, and this approach is commonly called Approach 3 by the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission.
Approach 3 requires that a suite of site response simulations be performed for the site that
include a range of input motions, a range of input intensities, and a range of shear wave velocity
profiles. The shear wave velocity profiles are developed statistically using Monte Carlo
simulation and the measured velocity information at the site (e.g., Toro 1995, Rathje et al. 2010).
An example of statistically generated velocity profiles for a site is shown in Figure 4.1, along
with the AF results from a suite of site response simulations.

(a) (b)
Figure 4.1: (a) Monte Carlo simulations of shear wave velocity profiles at a site, and (b) AF vs.
period for a suite of site response simulations

For each spectral period of interest, the AF values computed by each simulation are used to
develop a regression model that describes the relationship between AF and Sa,rock. AF varies
with Sa,rock because of the nonlinear response of soil (and some soft rocks). The regression
defines both the median value of AF given a value of Sa,rock, but also the standard deviation
(
lnAF
). An example of an AF relationship, based on the data in Figure 4.1, is shown in Figure
4.2.
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
0 500 1000
D
e
p
t
h

(
m
)
Shear-wave Velocity , Vs (m/s)
TS
Baseline
Profile
Median
Profile



0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
0.01 0.1 1 10
A
m
p
l
i
f
i
c
a
t
i
o
n

F
a
c
t
o
r
,

A
F
Period, T (sec)
PGA<0.06g
PGA=0.06g-0.12g
PGA=0.12g-0.24g
PGA=0.24g-0.48g
PGA>0.48g

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Figure 4.2: Example site amplification relationship for a given spectral period

Given the rock hazard curve, G
z
(z), for a given period of interest and AF relationship for the
same period, the two can be convolved to generate a hazard curve at the ground surface at the
site for that spectral period using:

() =


(4.1)


where p
x
(x
j
) is the annual probability of occurrence for Sa,rock equal to x
j
. This
probability is obtained by differentiating the previously defined reference rock hazard curve.
is the probability that AF is greater than the quantity z / x given a bedrock amplitude (Sa,rock) of
x. This value is computed by assuming AF is lognormally distributed and using the AF
Sa,rock relationship to predict the median AF and
lnAF
. It should be noted that Equation 4.1
assumes that the hazard is small enough that the annual probability of exceedance is equal to
the annual rate of exceedance (Bazzurro and Cornell 2004). An example of a reference rock
hazard curve and a hazard curve computed for the ground surface using the convolution
approach (Approach 3) are shown in Figure 4.3.



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Figure 4.3: Reference rock hazard curve and hazard curve at the ground surface computed by
the convolution method (Approach 3)

4.2. Vs Characterization and its Implications
The required seismic site characterization of Thyspunt for site-specific PSHA involves the
shear wave velocity profile. The measured shear wave velocities are used to (1) identify a
reference rock condition that will be used to derive the reference rock hazard curves, (2)
develop the statistical model of the shear wave velocity profile for the materials above the
reference rock condition, and (3) obtain small strain damping via correlations with shear wave
velocity values.
Figure 4.4 plots the shear wave velocity profiles measured by PS logging, as previously
shown in Section 3. Each shear wave velocity profile generally reaches 3,000 m/s and it is
proposed that the reference rock condition should be 3,000 m/s. At Workshop 2 in J anuary
2012, the Ground Motion Characterization Technical Integration team agreed on this value of
V
s30
for the reference rock condition. Specifying a reference rock condition of V
s30
=3,000 m/s
requires that a ground motion prediction equation appropriate for this condition be used in the
hazard calculations for reference rock. Most ground motion prediction equations are not valid in
this velocity range, and thus published models must be adjusted to V
s30
=3,000 m/s as well as
the associated kappa.
1.E-05
1.E-04
1.E-03
1.E-02
1.E-01
1.E+00
0 0.5 1 1.5 2
A
n
n
u
a
l

R
a
t
e

o
f

E
x
c
e
e
d
a
n
c
e









(
1
/
y
r
)
PGA (g)
Reference Rock
Ground Surface

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Figure 4.4: Measured shear wave velocity profiles by PS logging.

Figure 4.5: V
s30
kappa data compiled by Van Houtte et al. (2011) and their developed
relationship

The selection of kappa associated with the reference rock condition will be informed from
various sources. Prof. Andreas Rietbrock and Dr. Stephane Druet, both Specialty Contractors

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for this project, have analysed weak motion data from South Africa to invert appropriate
seismological parameters, including kappa, for the region of interest. Additionally, there have
been several papers published over the last few years that relate kappa to V
s30.
Van Houtte et
al. (2011) summarize these studies, and combine the previous data with their own data to
develop a Vs30 kappa relationship (Figure 4.5). The TI team has compiled the various papers
investigating the V
s30
kappa relationship, and will use this information to inform its decision on
kappa.
With the reference rock conditions specified, the remaining information required are the
statistical models for the shear wave velocity profile and material damping ratio. The velocity
information presented in this report will be used to develop a shear wave velocity model, a
damping model, and their uncertainties for use in site response analyses. A model will be
developed by Prof. Ellen Rathje and approved by the entire TI team.

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References
Bazzurro, P. and Cornell, C.A. 2004. Nonlinear Soil Site Effects in Probabilistic Seismic Hazard
Analysis, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 94(6), 2110-2123.
Choi, W.K. (2008) Dynamic properties of ash-flow tuffs, Ph.D Disseration, University of Texas
at Austin, 308 pp.
Comber (2012) Borehole PS Logging for ESKOM Thyspunt Siting Project, Council for
Geoscience, Report Number 2012-0001 (Rev 0).
Engelsman, B. and Constable, B. (2012) Thyspunt Shear Wave Velocity Measurements
Report Number 449376, SRK Consulting Ltd.
Green, M. T., Malovichko, D.A., Lynch, R.A., and Nel, A. (2011) Seismic Surface Wave
Measurements at Thyspunt, South Africa, Council for Geoscience, Report Number 2011-
0194 (Rev 0).
McGuire, R., Silva, W.J ., and Costantino, C.J . (2001). Technical basis for revision of regulatory
guidance on design ground motions: hazard- and risk consistent ground motion spectra
guidelines, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Report NUREG/CR-6728.
Park, C. (2011) Seismic Site Characterization in Thyspunt Area By Active and Passive MASW
Surveys: Data Processing Results, Council for Geoscience, Report Number 2011-0196
(Rev 0).
Rathje, E.M., Kottke, A.R. and Trent, W.L. (2010). The Influence of Input Motion and Site
Property Uncertainties on Seismic Site Response Analyses, J ournal of Geotechnical and
Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE, 136(4), 607-619.
Sarma, L. P. and Ravikumar, N. (2000) Q-factor by spectral ratio technique for strata
evaluations, Engineering Geology, Vol. 57, Issue 1-2, pp.123-132.
Toro G. R. (1995) Probabilistic models of site velocity profiles for generic and site-specific
ground-motion amplification studies. Technical Report 779574, Brookhaven National
Laboratory, Upton, New York.
Van Houtte, C., Drouet, S., and Cotton, F. (2011) Analysis of the Origins of kappa to Compute
Hard Rock to Rock Adjustment Factors for GMPEs, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of
America, Vol. 101, No. 6, pp. 29262941, doi: 10.1785/0120100345.