Implulse Response of a Halfspace

Simulations from KU Leuven, March 2008

Layered Halfspace animations from KUL

  • Case (a):
    a homogeneous halfspace with r = 1800 kg/m3, cs = 150 m/s, cp = 300 m/s.

  • Case (b):
    a 5-m layer on rigid bedrock. Layer properties as for case (a)

  • Case (c):
    a 5-m layer on a stiff halfspace. Layer properties as for case (a). Halfspace properties as for Case (a) but with cs = 300 m/s, cp = 600 m/s.

    The three animations above show how a (layered) elastic halfspace responds to an impulsive load applied at the surface. They have been computed with the latest version 2.0 of the ElastoDynamics Toolbox for Matlab, developed by Mattias Schevenels, Stijn Francois and Geert Degrande at K.U.Leuven in Belgium. For further information go to
    K.U.Leuven Structural Mechanics group or contact

    These animations show beautifully the distinction between Rayleigh, Shear and Compressive waves. In Case (a) you also see the "head wave" generated by the compressive wave as it interacts with the free surface. In Cases (b) and (c) the complexity of interactions within and between layers is quite breathtaking.

  • CUED animations

  • Case (i): as for the KUL animation (left) but calculations performed using the BEM from scratch.

  • The same, but shown in 3D.

  • Case (ii): A buried source in a halfspace.

  • Case (iii): A quarterspace.

  • Case (iv): surface vibration due to an impulse in an underground tunnel.

  • For fun stuff on spinning things go to Dynamics movies page