The excitation of mantle Rayleigh waves of 100 seconds period as a function of magnitude is studied using data from 91 earthquakes in the magnitude range 5.0 to 8.9. The data were recorded on a wide variety of instruments including Milne-Shaw horizontal pendulums and modern long-period high-gain inertial seismographs. The larger earthquakes studied range in time from 1923 to 1964. Mantle Rayleigh wave amplitudes are corrected to a distance of 90° and plotted as a function of surface wave magnitude. The data are compared with theoretical curves based on a moving source model and two statistical models discussed by Aki. It is concluded that for large earthquakes the source may be approximated by a point couple which propagates a distance given approximately by the length of the aftershock zone.

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