ASTM D7128-05

    Standard Guide for Using the Seismic-Reflection Method for Shallow Subsurface Investigation


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    1. Scope

    1.1 Purpose and Application

    1.1.1 This guide summarizes the technique, equipment, field procedures, data processing, and interpretation methods for the assessment of shallow subsurface conditions using the seismic-reflection method.

    1.1.2 Seismic reflection measurements as described in this guide are applicable in mapping shallow subsurface conditions for various uses including geologic (), geotechnical, hydrogeologic (), and environmental (. The seismic-reflection method is used to map, detect, and delineate geologic conditions including the bedrock surface, confining layers (aquitards), faults, lithologic stratigraphy, voids, water table, fracture systems, and layer geometry (folds). The primary application of the seismic-reflection method is the mapping of lateral continuity of lithologic units and, in general, detection of change in acoustic properties in the subsurface.

    1.1.3 This guide will focus on the seismic-reflection method as it is applied to the near surface. Near-surface seismic reflection applications are based on the same principles as those used for deeper seismic reflection surveying, but accepted practices can differ in several respects. Near-surface seismic-reflection data are generally high-resolution (dominant frequency above 80 Hz) and image depths from around 6 m to as much as several hundred meters. Investigations shallower than 6 m have occasionally been undertaken, but these should be considered experimental.

    1.2 Limitations

    1.2.1 This guide provides an overview of the shallow seismic-reflection method, but it does not address the details of seismic theory, field procedures, data processing, or interpretation of the data. Numerous references are included for that purpose and are considered an essential part of this guide. It is recommended that the user of the seismic-reflection method be familiar with the relevant material in this guide, the references cited in the text, and Guides D 420, D 653, D 2845, D 4428/D 4428M, Practice D 5088, Guides D 5608, D 5730, D 5753, D 6235, and D 6429.

    1.2.2 This guide is limited to two-dimensional (2-D) shallow seismic-reflection measurements made on land. The seismic-reflection method can be adapted for a wide variety of special uses: on land, within a borehole, on water, and in three dimensions (3-D). However, a discussion of these specialized adaptations of reflection measurements is not included in this guide.

    1.2.3 This guide provides information to help understand the concepts and application of the seismic-reflection method to a wide range of geotechnical, engineering, and groundwater problems.

    1.2.4 The approaches suggested in this guide for the seismic-reflection method are commonly used, widely accepted, and proven; however, other approaches or modifications to the seismic-reflection method that are technically sound may be equally suited.

    1.2.5 Technical limitations of the seismic-reflection method are discussed in .

    1.2.6 This guide discusses both compressional (P) and shear (S) wave reflection methods. Where applicable, the distinctions between the two methods will be pointed out in this guide.

    1.3 This guide offers an organized collection of information or a series of options and does not recommend a specific course of action. This document cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. Not all aspects of this guide may be applicable in all circumstances. This guide is not intended to represent or replace the standard of care by which the adequacy of a given professional service must be judged, nor should this document be applied without consideration for a projects many unique aspects. The word "Standard" in the title of this guide means only that the document has been approved through the ASTM consensus process.

    1.4 The values stated in SI units are regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are inch-pound units, which are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

    1.5 Precautions

    1.5.1 It is the responsibility of the user of this guide to follow any precautions within the equipment manufacturers recommendations, establish appropriate health and safety practices, and consider the safety and regulatory implications when explosives or any high-energy (mechanical or chemical) sources are used.

    1.5.2 If the method is applied at sites with hazardous materials, operations, or equipment, it is the responsibility of the user of this guide to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of any regulations prior to use.

    1.5.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D420 Guide for Site Characterization for Engineering Design and Construction Purposes

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D2845 Test Method for Laboratory Determination of Pulse Velocities and Ultrasonic Elastic Constants of Rock

    D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction

    D4428/D4428M Test Methods for Crosshole Seismic Testing

    D5088 Practice for Decontamination of Field Equipment Used at Waste Sites

    D5608 Practices for Decontamination of Sampling and Non Sample Contacting Equipment Used at Low Level Radioactive Waste Sites

    D5730 Guide for Site Characterization for Environmental Purposes With Emphasis on Soil, Rock, the Vadose Zone and Groundwater

    D5753 Guide for Planning and Conducting Geotechnical Borehole Geophysical Logging

    D5777 Guide for Using the Seismic Refraction Method for Subsurface Investigation

    D6235 Practice for Expedited Site Characterization of Vadose Zone and Groundwater Contamination at Hazardous Waste Contaminated Sites

    D6429 Guide for Selecting Surface Geophysical Methods

    D6432 Guide for Using the Surface Ground Penetrating Radar Method for Subsurface Investigation


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 07.060 (Geology. Meteorology. Hydrology)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 81151902(Geophysical exploration)


    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/D7128-05

    Citation Format

    ASTM D7128-05, Standard Guide for Using the Seismic-Reflection Method for Shallow Subsurface Investigation, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2005, www.astm.org

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