Surface-Wave Studies of the Pacific Crust and Mantle

  1. Gordon A. Macdonald and
  2. Hisashi Kuno
  1. Maurice Ewing,
  2. James Brune and
  3. John Kuo

Published Online: 21 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM006p0030

The Crust of the Pacific Basin

The Crust of the Pacific Basin

How to Cite

Ewing, M., Brune, J. and Kuo, J. (1962) Surface-Wave Studies of the Pacific Crust and Mantle, in The Crust of the Pacific Basin (eds G. A. Macdonald and H. Kuno), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM006p0030

Author Information

  1. Lamont Geological Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, New York

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1962

Book Series:

  1. Geophysical Monograph Series

Book Series Editors:

  1. Waldo E. Smith

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900063

Online ISBN: 9781118669310



  • Airy phase;
  • Earthquake seismology;
  • Nuclear explosions;
  • Rayleigh-wave dispersion;
  • Surface-wave dispersion


The history of the study of surface-wave dispersion in the Pacific Ocean beginning about 1950 is reviewed. During this period the quality of dispersion data has improved and powerful theoretical methods have been developed. Several of the most difficult problems have been solved, such as: (1) the effect of water and sedimentary layers on short-period surface waves, (2) the relation of the G-wave to Love-wave dispersion, (3) the effect of curvature and gravity on surface waves, and (4) determination of the dispersion of mantle Rayleigh and Love waves. Measurements of phase and group velocities in a wide period range provide the principal data in these studies and are summarized in graphical form.

A generalized structure of the Pacific Basin proper based on observed surface wave dispersion curves and theoretical studies is presented. The important structural features of the Pacific are a water layer 5 km thick, a sedimentary layer about 1 km thick with very low shear velocity, the crustal layer 5 km thick, and a low velocity channel in the upper mantle extending from a depth of about 60 to 150 km. For the lower mantle the Gutenberg model is consistent with the Pacific dispersion data.