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1-D and 2-D resonances in an Alpine valley identified from ambient noise measurements and 3-D modelling



H/V spectral ratios are regularly used for estimating the bedrock depth in 1-D like basins exhibiting smooth lateral variations. In the case of 2-D or 3-D pronounced geometries, observational and numerical studies have shown that H/V curves exhibit peculiar shapes and that the H/V frequency generally overestimates 1-D theoretical resonance frequency. To investigate the capabilities of the H/V method in complex structures, a detailed comparison between measured and 3-D-simulated ambient vibrations was performed in the small-size lower Romanche valley (French Alps), which shows significant variations in geometry, downstream and upstream the Séchilienne basin. Analysing the H/V curve characteristics, two different wave propagation modes were identified along the valley. Relying on previous geophysical investigation, a power-law relationship was derived between the bedrock depth and the H/V peak frequency, which was used for building a 3-D model of the valley geometry. Simulated and experimental H/V curves were found to exhibit quite similar features in terms of curve shape and peak frequency values, validating the 3-D structure. This good agreement also evidenced two different propagation modes in the valley: 2-D resonance in the Séchilienne basin and 1-D resonance in the external parts. This study underlines the interest of H/V curves for investigating complex basin structures.