Bender elements: Performance and signal interpretation

Jong Sub Lee, J. Carlos Santamarina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

612 Scopus citations


Bender elements are convenient shear wave transducers for instrumenting soil cells due to optimal soil-transducer coupling and compatible operating frequency. Experimental and analytical methods are implemented in this study to explore various aspects of bender element installations including: electromagnetic coupling prevention, directivity, resonant frequency, detection of first arrival, and near field effects. It is shown that electromagnetic coupling effects are critical in soils with high electrical conductivity and can be minimized by shielding and grounding, or by using parallel-type bender elements. Bender elements generate both P- and S-waves. The in-plane S-wave directivity is quasicircular. The resonant frequency of bender element installations depends on the geometry of the bender element, the anchor efficiency, and the soil stiffness. The cross correlation of subsequent reflections is a self-healing measurement procedure which resolves uncertainties in both travel time and travel distance. Near field effects can be effectively taken into consideration by matching the measured signal with the analytical solution, directly rendering shear wave velocity. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1063-1070
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Analytical techniques
  • Coupling
  • Resonance
  • Shear waves
  • Signal processing
  • Wave reflection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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