A series of photoelastic tests were conducted to determine transmission and reflection coefficients associated with the stress and displacement of a Rayleigh wave propagating past a step change in elevation on the boundary of an elastic half plane. The determinations were made on six different models with ratios of step height to wave length (h/λ) ranging from 0 to 1.1. The stress transmission coefficient varied from 1 to about 1.5 as h/λ increased from 0 to 1.1. The stress reflection coefficient increased from 0 to 0.7 with increasing h/λ. The displacement transmission coefficient increased initially to a value of 1.4 for h/λ = 0.2 then decreased monotonically to about 1 as h/λ increased to 1.1. Finally, the displacement reflection coefficient increased monotonically from 0 to about 1.5 as h/λ increased over the range considered.
The photoelastic method provides information over the entire region of interest which is very useful in the understanding and analysis of the complex wave interaction problems associated with Rayleigh wave propagation past boundary irregularities.