Seismic modeling experiments have shown that a Rayleigh wave traveling toward the corner of a small angle wedge with free boundaries decomposes into two waves whose orbital motions are symmetric and antisymmetric with respect to the bisector of the wedge. Their local phase velocities are respectively equal to the phase velocities of the symmetric and antisymmetric Rayleigh mode in a plate with parallel boundaries where the thickness of the plate is equal to the local thickness cf the wedge. This experimental result has been used to construct an approximation theory to describe the propagation of Rayleigh waves in a wedge.

In this paper synthetic seismograms and particle motions computed with this theory are compared with seismograms produced by laboratory models.

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