An approximate analytical model is presented for describing the effects of site geology on the near-field Rayleigh wave ground motions induced by atmospheric explosions. The model is based on an Airy phase approximation to the time domain displacement corresponding to the exact frequency domain solution. Results of numerical simulations are presented which indicate that the amplitude, duration, and dominant frequency of the Rayleigh wave ground motions are strongly dependent on the variation of shear wave velocity with depth at the site. The approximate model is tested over a range of site conditions, and it is demonstrated that the dependence of the Rayleigh wave characteristics on site geology predicted by the more complex, exact model can be accurately described by a remarkably simple set of analytic approximations.

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