Observed P and S waves from the respective Soviet and Chinese atmospheric explosions of October 30, and 1961 and October 14, 1970 are found to differ both in their S/P amplitude ratios and the form of the individual wavelets. This difference is attributed to the effect of the local topography on the ensuing ground motion at the source. Asymptotic ray theory indicates that an additional horizontal force component was acting at the source of the Chinese event while the Soviet event could be modeled by a vertical force only.

Generalized ray theory is then applied to calculate the body wave forms in each case. The agreement between the theoretical results and the observations is excellent.

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