A matrix formalism developed by W. T. Thomson is used to obtain the phase velocity dispersion equations for elastic surface waves of Rayleigh and Love type on multilayered solid media. The method is used to compute phase and group velocities of Rayleigh waves for two assumed three-layer models and one two-layer model of the earth's crust in the continents. The computed group velocity curves are compared with published values of the group velocities at various frequencies of Rayleigh waves over continental paths. The scatter of the observed values is larger than the difference between the three computed curves. It is believed that not all of this scatter is due to observational errors, but probably represents a real horizontal heterogeneity of the continental crusts.

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