The objectives of this report are to review selected published measurements of the attenuation, or energy damping, of low‐strain shear waves in surficial water‐saturated sands and silt clays (mud) which might occur as marine sediments. In various computations, a linear viscoelastic model is favored in which velocity dispersion is negligible, the linear attenuation is proportional to the first power of frequency, and the specific dissipation function, 1/Q, and the logarithmic decrement are independent of frequency. The logarithmic decrement is favored as a measure of energy damping because of research in soil mechanics. The very sparse data indicate that in water‐saturated sands and silt clays, the logarithmic decrements are mostly between 0.1 and 0.6. If approximate values of shear wave energy losses are required for generalized computations, it is suggested that a value for the logarithmic decrement of 0.30±0.15 be assumed for sands, and 0.2±0.1 for silt clays. Measured logarithmic decrements of compressional waves in sands average about 0.10±0.03; in silt clays about 0.02±0.01. The average values of the ratio of compressional‐to‐shear‐wave logarithmic decrements, using the above average values, would be 0.3 for sands and 0.1 for silt clays.
Subject Classification: 30.20; 40.50, 30.30.