An exact solution for the effects of topography on Rayleigh wave amplification is presented. The solution is obtained by incorporating conformal mapping into complex-variable stress functions developed for free Rayleigh wave propagation in an elastic half-space with a flat upper surface. Results are presented for free Rayleigh wave propagation across isolated symmetric ridges and valleys. It is found for wavelengths that are comparable to ridge widths that horizontal Rayleigh wave amplitudes are amplified at ridge crests and that vertical amplitudes are strongly reduced near ridge crests relative to horizontal and vertical amplitudes of free Rayleigh waves in the flat case. Horizontal amplitudes are strongly deamplified at valley bottoms relative to those for the flat case for Rayleigh wavelengths comparable to valley widths. Wave amplitudes in the symmetric ridges and valleys asymptotically approach those for the flat case with increased wavelengths, increased ridge and valley widths, and with horizontal distance from and depth below the isolated ridges and valleys. Also, prograde particle motion is predicted near crests of narrow ridges and near the bottoms of narrow valleys. Finally, application of the theory at two sites known for topographic wave amplification gives a predicted surface wave amplification ratio of 3.80 at the ridge center for a frequency of 1.0 Hz at Robinwood Ridge in northern California and a predicted surface wave amplification ratio of 1.67 at the ridge center for the same frequency at the Cedar Hill Nursery site at Tarzana in southern California.
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An exact solution for effects of topography on free Rayleigh waves