Application of high resolution geophysical prospecting to assess the risk related to subsurface deformationin Mexico City

F. A. Centeno-Salas; F. A. Centeno-Salas; D. Carreón-Freyre; W. A. Flores-García; R. I. Gutiérrez-Calderón (2015)
Copernicus Publications
English
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In the eastern sector of Mexico City the sub soil consists of high contrasting sequences (lacustrine and volcanic inter bedded deposits) that favor the development of erratic fracturing in the surface causing damage to the urban infrastructure. The high-resolution geophysical prospecting are useful tools for the assessment of ground deformation and fracturing associated with land subsidence phenomena.

The GPR method allowed to evaluate the fracture propagation and deformation of vulcano-sedimentary sequences at different depths, the main electrical parameters are directly related with the gravimetric and volumetric water content and therefore with the plasticity of the near surface prospected sequences. The active seismology prospection consisted in a combination of Seismic Refraction (SR) and Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves (MASW) for the estimation of the velocity of the mechanical compressive (P) and the shear (S) waves. The integration of both methods allowed to estimate the geomechanical parameters characterizing the studied sequence, the Poisson Ratio and the volumetric compressibility.

The obtained mechanical parameters were correlated with laboratory measured parameters such as plasticity index, density, shear strength and compressibility and, GPR and seismic profiles were correlated with the mapped fracture systems in the study area. Once calibrated, the profiles allowed to identify the lithological contact between lacustrine and volcanic sequences, their variations of thicknesses in depth and to assess the deformation area in the surface. An accurate determination of the geometry of fracturing was of the most importance for the assessment of the geological risk in the study area.

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