Abstract A closed-form solution of two-dimensional scattering of plane SH waves by a cylindrical hill of circular-arc cross-section in a half-space is presented using the wave functions expansion method. The solution is reduced to solving a set of infinite linear algebraic equations, using the auxiliary functions and the exterior region form of the Graf's addition theorem. Numerical solutions are obtained by truncation of the infinite equations and their accuracies are demonstrated by convergence of the numerical results and by the extent to which the numerical results fit the exact boundary conditions with increasing the truncation order. The numerical results for some typical cases are then presented for checking accuracies of various numerical methods. The effects of the height-to-width ratio of the hill on surface ground motion are finally illustrated.