Main content area

Application of seismic velocity tomography in investigation of karst collapse hazards, Guangzhou, China

Zhao, Wei, Gan, Fuping, Meng, Yan, Zheng, Zhijie, Liu, Xiaoming
Environmental earth sciences 2018 v.77 no.6 pp. 258
Carboniferous period, bedrock, caves, clay, drilling, geophysics, karsts, limestone, sand, soil, surveys, tomography, China
This paper describes seismic velocity tomography applied to the investigation and assessment of karst collapse hazards to facilitate accurate characterization of geological conditions of karst sinkhole formation. In the survey areas of Xiamao, Guangzhou, China, and Huangchi, Foshan, China, seismic velocity tomography was used to explore the structures of rock and soil associated with karst collapse. The results show that sand intercalated with clay or clay intercalated with soft soil dominates the cover of these two areas. The overburden is 20–33 m thick and underlain by Carboniferous limestone. In the limestone, there are well-developed karst caves and cracks as well as highly fluctuating bedrock surfaces. The seismic velocities are less than 2500 m/s in the cover, 2500–4500 m/s in the karst fracture zones and caves of Xiamao, and 1500–2000 m/s in the Huangchi collapse area. The karst fracture zones, relief of bedrock surfaces, and variations of soil thicknesses revealed by seismic velocity tomography are well constrained and in agreement with those in the drilling borehole profiles. This paper demonstrates that seismic velocity tomography can delineate anomalies of rock and soil with the advantages of speed, intuitive images, and high resolution.