This paper studies the generation of axially symmetric transient SH waves in semi-infinite heterogeneous media in which μ and ρ vary with depth. The sources generating these waves are taken in the form of time-dependent torsional-body forces of finite dimensions. The solution is obtained using Hankel and Laplace transforms and Green's function. The disturbance from a buried point source of impulsive type is discussed in two cases, (a) μ = μo(1 + ɛz)2, ρ = ρo (1 + ɛz)2, (b) μ = μoe2az, ρ = ρoe2az. It is shown that, in contrast to the results for a homogeneous medium, in case (i), the wave reflected by the free surface generates secondary disturbances which trail behind the wave front and die out as t increases; the incident wave in this medium generates no such disturbance. In case (ii), however, both the incident as well as the reflected waves generate secondary disturbances.

Formal solution for the disturbance in a heterogeneous layer of finite depth with stress-free boundaries is discussed in Appendix II.

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