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Ground vibrations due to different technical sources are analysed in theory and experiment for the dispersion of Rayleigh waves and the admittance spectra. Both tasks are theoretically based on the same concept: The admittance function in frequencywavenumber domain yields the dispersion as its maxima, and the admittance function in space domain is obtained by integrating it over the wavenumbers. On the experimental side, many signal processing methods have been applied to many sites and have been developed by the authors in the last 35 years, i.e., time-domain methods, including the cross-correlation method, and frequency-domain methods such as the spectral analysis of surface waves with two or multiple sensors, the wavenumber-transform method, and the spatial autocorrelation method. All methods are presented by their basic formula and by at least one example site. Different sensor arrays and deterministic and stochastic sources have been tested for the spatial autocorrelation method and the wavenumber-transform method at several sites. In addition, all frequency-domain methods are presented for a specific layered site comparing their quality. The evaluated dispersion curves are very similar, but a somewhat higher frequency range has been found for the fastest method, i.e., the multi-sensor spectral-analysis-of-surface-waves method. The theoretical solutions have been used for the inversion of the measured dispersion to the soil profile of the specific layered soil. The theoretical soil model has subsequently been used to predict the ground vibration spectra of hammer and railway excitation that exhibit a good agreement with the corresponding measurements. Thus, the contribution shows the benefit of active and passive seismic methods for the prediction of railway vibration, including a new version of the spatial autocorrelation method for technical vibrations. On the other hand, technical and namely railway vibrations are considered a seismic source for the exploration of near surface soils.

Train-induced ground vibrations are generated by static and dynamic axle loads which can be calculated by vehicle-track-soil models and the vehicle and track irregularities. A fast prediction method has been developed which uses approximate transfer functions of layered soils. In the present contribution, this prediction method is used for the inverse calculation of the axle-load spectra from the measured ground vibration. The layered soils of some measuring sites show very differing ground vibration spectra in the amplitude range of 0.0001–1.0 mm/s as a consequence of the soft layer and stiff half-space, differing layer frequencies, as well as the far- and near-field measuring points. The back-calculation, however, yields axle-load spectra within a single order of magnitude around 1 kN. Axle-box measurements confirm the amplitude level of the axle loads. This standard axle-load spectrum can be used for a basic prediction at a new site. The separation of train and site-specific components allows a better evaluation of railway vibrations, for example, of different trains and different tracks. By eliminating the effects of differing soil characteristics, an important mid-frequency component has been found which lies between 8 and 32 Hz depending on the train speed. The origin of this dominant mid-frequency component is discussed using advanced prediction methods like moving constant loads, scattered axle impulses and axle-sequence spectra.

The reduction of train-induced ground vibration by elastic elements such as rail pads and sleeper pads has been analyzed by a combined finite-element boundary-element method. The dynamic compliance of the track, the transfer function of the total force on the ground and the ground vibration ratios have been calculated for a variety of isolated and un-isolated track systems. It has been found that the soil force transfer, which describes the excitation force of the soil, is an appropriate quantity to predict the reduction of the ground vibration and the effectiveness of isolated tracks. All force transfer functions of isolated tracks display a vehicletrack resonance where the wheelset on the compliant track is excited by wheel and track irregularities. At higher frequencies, considerable reductions of the amplitudes are observed as the benefit of the resilient element. The influence of the stiffness of the rail or sleeper pads, the ballast and the soil, and the mass of the sleeper and the wheelset on the resonance frequency and the reduction has been investigated. Sleeper pads are advantageous due to the higher mass that is elastically supported compared to the rail-pad track system. The combination of elastic rail and sleeper pads has been found to be disadvantageous, as the second resonance occurs in the frequency range of intended reduction.

The computation of the wave propagation in homogeneous and layered soils can be performed by a numerical integration in wavenumber domain. The numerical difficulties of an infinite integral and an integrand with poles can be solved. But if this computation must be repeated for many distances, many frequencies, many loads, or many soil models, it becomes a time consuming task which is not acceptable for a user-friendly prediction tool for railway induced ground vibration. Therefore, an approximate method for the computation of the wave field has been developed. The computation consists of several steps. At first, an approximate dispersion profile is calculated according to rules which have been derived from exact solutions. Secondly, the dispersion is used to achieve the amplitude for a certain frequency and a certain distance by calculating the approximate solution of a corresponding homogeneous half-space. Thirdly, three layer corrections are added which include lowfrequency near-field effects, high-frequency far-field effects, and a resonance amplification around the layer frequency. This procedure yields the wave field due to a point load. For a train load, many of these point-load responses have to be summed up, and a frequencydependant reduction factor has to be multiplied to incorporate the effect of the load distribution along and across the track. - The prediction method is applied to real sites, and the appropriate soil models are identified by approximating the measured transfer functions (frequency-dependant amplitudes) which is presented as an alternative to the approximation of the dispersion (frequency-dependant wave velocities). These examples demonstrate the general behavior of layered soils: the low amplitudes of the stiff half-space at low frequencies, the high amplitudes of the softer layer at high frequencies, the strong increase of amplitudes and a possible resonance amplification at mid frequencies. The material damping of the layer yields a strong attenuation of the amplitudes with the distance for high frequencies. The response depends strongly on the resonance or layer frequency which is shown for different layer depths and velocities always in good agreement with measurements. The layer frequency can be of immense influence if train-speed effects are analysed in a layered soil. The good agreement with many measurements in this contribution as well as in the references validates the prediction of ground vibration based on the theory of a layered half-space.