GG450 April 1, 2008 Huygens Principle and Snells Law In seismology we deal with two perpendicular features of waves, wave fronts and rays. Wave fronts are much like equipotential surfaces in potential field geophysics, except wave fronts have equal phase, as opposed to equal potential. Rays are perpendicular to wave fronts and point in the direction of the wave propagation. Wave fronts move along

rays at the phase velocity, or propagation velocity. When you throw a rock into a pond, the circles are wave fronts that move in the radial direction from the source along rays. What is the "phase" of a wave??? phase y = A Sin[ 2 ( ft x / )]

where A is the amplitude f is the frequency t is the time x is the distance along the path and is the wavelength. The phase is the "angle" of the wave, repeating values with a 0 to 360 or 0 to 2 radian cycle. radian cycle. In "shallow water" (meaning that the wavelength of

any wave is long compared to the depth) the phase velocity of ocean waves is approximately v=sqrt(gh) where g is the acceleration of gravity and h is the water depth. For a tsunami the ocean is shallow, by this definition. A shallow water wave moves the WHOLE ocean from surface to bottom, particles moving in the ray direction even more than up and down.

When the propagation velocity changes, rays bend towards the slower velocity region. If rays are bending, the velocity is changing. This tsunami travel time map shows the time that it takes for a tsunami at Kamchatka to travel around the N Pacific. The equal-time contours are wave fronts. We can show this with Huygens Principle. This principle states that each point along a wave front generates a sphere of energy whose

radius is proportional to the propagation velocity. If the time increment is the period of the wave, then the radius is the wavelength. If we draw a series of circles along a wave front, and adjust the radius of the circles to be proportional to the velocity, then we can see how the wave front progresses though a medium with variable velocity. ray direction

. wave front old

new wave front Huygen's principle supplies a good intuitive metho d for determinin g the paths waves will take in areas where the velocity changes. Huygen's Principle can be used to estimate refraction as a wave approaches a beach: t

n o r f e wav depth contour shoreline

The red lines are the ray directions, showing that headlands receive more energy than bays. Similarly, light going through a lens is slowed down by the glass, and its path is bent. Such bending is called REFRACTION. Similarly REFLECTION is the bouncing of a wave back from an interface. As the velocity changes, so does the wavelength, but the FREQUENCY and PERIOD NEVER CHANGE.

Lets use Huygens principle to show how much a wave will refract as it crosses a boundary from one velocity to another. A series of waves hits the surface where the propagation velocity changes from v0 to v1. We want to know how these waves refract as they enter the lower material. We can draw Huygen's circles in the upper layer showing how far the wave will travel in time t. If the ray

hits the interface at angle 0 w.r.t. the vertical, then sin 0 =tv0/x In the lower layer, the wave travels faster, so the distance between wave fronts is longer (tv1), and the circles are larger. Since the point where a wave front hits the interface must be the same point above and below the interface and tangent to the previous circle, we can draw the wave front and ray in the lower layer. 1

1 Notice that the length x is the same above and below the interface: so we have sin =tv1/x. Removing x and t, we get: 1 tv0 tv1 sin 0 sin 1 sin 0 = ; and sin1 = ; so

= x x v0 v1 This is Snells Law, one of the most important equations in geometrical optics. In words, it says that the angle a ray makes with the vertical divided by the velocity at that point on the path AT ANY POINT ALONG ITS PATH is CONSTANT. The constant is

called the RAY PARAMETER, p. sin 0 sin 1 = =p v0 v1 ASSUMPTIONS: 1)Velocity only changes with depth 2) The frequency of the wave is infinite

What does this mean? If you know the ray parameter of any ray, and you know the ANGLE of the ray with respect to the vertical at any point, then you can determine the VELOCITY of the wave at that depth. OR, If you know the velocity and the ray parameter, you can determine the angle of the ray with the vertical at that depth. Also, whenever a ray is at a particular depth, it must have the same angle with the vertical.

sin 0 sin 1 = =p v0 v1 What happens when a ray enters an area of lower velocity? What happens to seismic rays inside a planet

where the velocity is constant? What happens if Sin () is greater than 1? How deep can a ray go into the earth? If you have them, bring a compass and straight edge to lab this afternoon - or your PC with a graphics program.