What is MASW?

MASW is an acronym of Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves.  It is a seismic exploration
technique first introduced in
Park et al., (1999).  It evaluates ground stiffness by measuring shear-wave velocity (Vs) of
subsurface in
1-D, 2-D, and 3-D for various types of geotechnical engineering projects in the
most common depth range of 0-30 meters.  
MASW first measures seismic surface waves generated from various types of seismic sources—such as sledge hammer—analyzes the
propagation velocities of those surface waves, and then finally deduces shear-wave velocity (Vs) variations below the surveyed area that is most
responsible for the analyzed propagation velocity pattern of surface waves.  Shear-wave velocity (Vs) is one of the elastic constants and closely
related to Young’s and shear moduli.  Under most circumstances, Vs is a direct indicator of the ground strength (stiffness) and therefore
commonly used to derive load-bearing capacity.

Overall procedure to produce a typical 2D S-velocity (Vs) cross section consists of collecting multichannel seismic records at multiple locations as
illustrated below.  Each record then generates a 1-D (depth) velocity (Vs) profile, multiple of which will construct the final 2D cross section.  
Advantages    Overall Procedure     History of Surface-Wave Method     MASW-Types     Passive MASW        Applications        
MASW.com (contact@masw.com)
Park Seismic LLC, Shelton, Connecticut (contact@parkseismic.com)