The solution to problems of elastic wave propagation in multilayered media, in which each layer is homogeneous and where the ensemble of layers has physical properties that vary only with one coordinate, may be given as the quotient of products of matrices. In the case of SH waves, the matrices are of order two; in the case of P-SV waves the matrices are of order four. The individual matrix elements are themselves determinants of order two or four in the two cases. The solution is obtained by means of Laplace's development by minors.

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