Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 167, Issue 12, pp 1485–1510 | Cite as

Effects of Impedance Contrast and Soil Thickness on Basin-Transduced Rayleigh Waves and Associated Differential Ground Motion

  • J. P. NarayanEmail author


This paper presents the effects of impedance contrast (IC) across the basin edge, velocity contrast between the basin and underlying bedrock, Poisson’s ratio and soil thickness on the characteristics of basin-transduced Rayleigh (BTR) waves and associated differential ground motion (DGM). Analysis of simulated results for a two-dimensional (2D) basin revealed complex mode transformation of Rayleigh waves after entering the basin. Excellent correlation of frequencies corresponding to different spectral ratio peaks in ellipticity curves of BTR waves and spectral amplification peaks was obtained. However, such correlation was not observed between values of peaks in ellipticity curves and spectral amplification at the corresponding frequencies. An increase of spectral amplification with IC was obtained. The largest spectral amplification was more than twice the IC in the horizontal component and more than the IC in the vertical component in the case of large and same impedance contrast for P- and S-waves. It was concluded that the frequency corresponding to the largest spectral amplification was greater than the fundamental frequency of soil by around 14% and 44% in the vertical and horizontal components, respectively. Spectral amplification of the vertical component was negligible when soil thickness was less than around 15–20 times the S-wave wavelength in the basin. The largest values of peak ground displacement (PGD) and peak differential ground motion (PDGM) were obtained very near the basin edge, and their values with offset from the edge were strongly dependent on the IC across the basin edge, Poisson’s ratio, velocity contrast between the basin and underlying bedrock (dispersion), damping and soil thickness. The obtained value of PDGM for a span of 50 m in the horizontal and vertical components due to the BTR wave was of the order of 0.75 × 10−3 and 1.32 × 10−3 for unit amplitude (1.0 cm) in the horizontal component of the Rayleigh wave at rock very near the basin edge.


Basin-transduced surface wave complex mode transformation spectral amplification of surface waves differential ground motion 2D finite-difference simulation 



The author is grateful to Dr. Ivo Oprsal and Dr. Emmanuel Chaljub for valuable comments and suggestions, which led to great improvements in the original manuscript, and also to the Earthquake Risk Evaluation Centre (EREC), IMD, New Delhi for financial assistance through grant ERC-244-EQD.


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© Birkhäuser / Springer Basel AG 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earthquake EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia

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