On the development in digital engineering-seismic studies in Finland: Dissertation

Olli Okko

Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles


Shallow refraction and reflection seismic soundings were carried out in Finland using the newest portable digital seismographs. These improve the field investigation methods and introduce digital data processing techniques. New mechanical wave sources were developed to allow the conventional refraction soundings to be carried out in urban and industrial areas. The Finnish crystalline bedrock is covered by thin post-glacial overburden. With the present recording technology the bedrock refractions from the shots of a buffalo gun were recorded from shallow depths down to 15 - 20 meters. In the digital refraction records, reflected waves are also visible from depths of a few meters to the first hundred meters. In a combined interpretation of these sounding modes, the number of seismic layers in the soil sequence can be estimated from reflectors to avoid the well-known misinterpretations due to blind zones in the refraction survey. Digital recording was also introduced into a slim acoustic logging system. This makes it possible to record whole waveforms to analyze the travel times and amplitudes of body and surface waves along 56 mm diameter boreholes. The acoustic logging is very sensitive to microcracking along the hole, requiring inversion techniques to calculate the velocities and attenuation factors in the formation. The velocity and attenuation of the body waves is connected to mechanical weakness in the bedrock using the calculated log of Young's modulus. Furthermore, attenuation of the Stoneley-type surface waves can separate the water-bearing open fractures from the closed ones. Subhorizontal fracture zones in the bedrock were mapped by high frequency soundings carried out on bedrock outcrops. The sonic logs at the same sites showed that the required thickness of these reflective horizons has to be a few meters. Unfortunately, most of the fractures intersected by boreholes are thinner than 1 m at the intersections making them difficult targets. The logs also indicate that the seismic velocity does not increase constantly with depth. There is a sharp increase in the velocity within the very topmost bedrock. Dynamic rock mechanical elastic constants were calculated from borehole logs and from corresponding laboratory measurements of body wave velocities and density. The static uniaxial rock mechanical tests classify the samples presenting the intact bedrock in the same order as the dynamic analyses, but there are some differences due to different frequencies, stress levels and displacements in the test procedures. Moreover, the borehole logs give estimates of the deformation properties also in the unsampled fractured sections along boreholes.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor Degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
Award date1 Jun 1998
Place of PublicationEspoo
Print ISBNs951-38-5235-0
Electronic ISBNs951-38-5236-9
Publication statusPublished - 1998
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • seismic sounding methods
  • seismology
  • seismic waves
  • seismic refraction
  • seismic surveys
  • digital filtering
  • rock mechanics
  • acoustic logging


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