Shear and Rayleigh Waves in Soil Dynamics

by George C. Gazetas, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Case Western Univ., Cleveland, Ohio,
Mishac K. Yegian, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Northeastern Univ., Boston, Mass.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 12, Pg. 1455-1470

Document Type: Journal Paper


The main thrust of this paper is to compare the effects of Rayleigh waves to those of vertical shear waves on the dynamic response of a variety of realistic soil deposits. Using a modified version of the Thomson-Haskell-Harkrider method, the variation with depth of horizontal displacements and shear stresses resulting from the passage of the two types of waves is determined. Comparisons of their effects indicate that R- and S-waves produce similar attenuations with depth of horizontal motions, for periods close to or greater than the first natural period of the deposit in vertical shear waves, while the discrepancies observed at much shorter perids are of little practical significance since for typical soil profiles Rayleigh waves of such periods carry only a small portion of the total wave energy. However, the two waves may yield different distributions of shear stresses with depth and induce different motions of the soil particles.

Subject Headings: Soil dynamics | Shear stress | Shear waves | Rayleigh waves | Motion (dynamics) | Stress distribution | Soil stress | Thrust

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