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Published August 30, 1962 | Published
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Dispersion of Long-Period Love Waves in a Spherical Earth


Periods of torsional eigenvibrations have been computed for heterogeneous spheres corresponding to a variety of Earth models, and the periods of oscillation are used to calculate phase and group velocities for the fundamental and first higher modes of Love waves. A comparison is made between velocities for different spherical models, with the velocities calculated by use of equivalent flat Earth structures. The comparison shows that (1) the effect of sphericity on fundamental-mode Love waves is more complicated than for Rayleigh waves because of the efficient channeling of waves by low-velocity layers, and (2) the first higher Love mode is more affected by curvature than the fundamental mode. The variation with depth of the relative amplitude of the displacements indicates that the first higher Love mode for periods less than 90 sec is very sensitive to upper mantle structure in the vicinity of the low-velocity zone. Comparison of the theoretical results with recent phase-velocity and torsional- oscillation data shows that a Gutenberg-type velocity structure is more satisfactory than either the Lehmann or Jeffreys structures. The use of consistent densities with the Gutenberg model, rather than Bullen A densities, has a small but significant effect on the calculated velocities. For periods greater than 200 sec the calculated phase velocities for various oceanic and continental structures are all within 2% of each other. The calculated group velocities are within 1 1/2% of each other in the range 150 < T < 400 sec, thus confirming experimental results. Dispersion measurements must therefore be made to better than this accuracy in order to draw significant conclusions about details of Earth structure.

Additional Information

© 1962 Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology. This Report presents the results of a cooperative research program between the Seismological Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, and this Laboratory. Research at the Seismological Laboratory was carried out under Contract No. NASw-81, sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Contract No. AF-49(638)910 of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research as part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency's Project VELA. The authors are grateful to Dr. Russell E. Carr for discussion of various aspects of the theoretical solution, and to Mr. M. Nafi Toksoz and Dr. Ari Ben Menahem for allowing the use of their data in advance of publication.

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