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Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2014, Article ID 934284, 17 pages
Research Article

Effects of Underground Cavities on the Frequency Spectrum of Seismic Shear Waves

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Edile e Architettura, Universitá Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy

Received 22 May 2014; Accepted 18 November 2014; Published 10 December 2014

Academic Editor: Polat Gülkan

Copyright © 2014 G. Lancioni et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A numerical method is proposed to study the scattering of seismic shear waves induced by the presence of underground cavities in homogeneous soils. The method is based on the superposition of two solutions: the solution of the free-wave propagation problem in a uniform half-space, easily determined analytically, and the solution of the wave scattering problem due to the cave presence, evaluated numerically by means of an ad hoc code implemented by using the ANSYS Parametric Design Language. In the two-dimensional setting, this technique is applied to the case of a single cave, placed at a certain depth from the ground level. The frequency spectrum of the seismic shear oscillation on the ground surface is determined for different dimensions and depths of the cave and compared with the spectrum registered without caves. The influence of the cave dimensions and depth on the spectrum amplification is analyzed and discussed.