The Rayleigh waves generated by an explosion on or in the interior of a two-dimensional model show that the source acts as a downward impulse when the shot is on or just below the surface, and as a buried source of compression for deeper shots. The seismograms are in agreement with established theory for the line source on or in a half-space.

The source depth corresponding to the reversal of polarity of the Rayleigh wave is small, and appears to be equal to the radius of the zone of inelastic failure around the shot. The polarity reversal is a true indication of a change in the mechanism of Rayleigh wave generation, and is not related to the change from retrograde motion at the free surface to prograde motion in the interior associated with the change in sign of the radial component at depth.

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