What is MASW?

First introduced in GEOPHYSICS (1999), the multichannel analysis of surface waves (MASW) method is one of the seismic survey
methods evaluating the elastic condition (stiffness) of the ground for geotechnical engineering purposes.  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 modulus.  Under most circumstances, Vs is a direct indicator of the ground strength (stiffness) and
therefore commonly used to derive load-bearing capacity.  After a relatively simple procedure, final Vs information is provided in 1-D,
2-D, and 3-D formats.  
Advantages    Overall Procedure     History of Surface-Wave Method     MASW-Types     Applications
Data Courtesy of the Kansas Geological Survey