The present article focusses on determining the response of reduced micropolar half-space subjected to specific loading conditions. Analytical expressions for translational and rotational displacements are derived for the half-space subjected to impulses using the method of potentials. The derived analytical expressions are numerically evaluated to determine the response of reduced micropolar half-space subjected to buried impulses acting in both horizontal and vertical directions. The derived Green’s functions are further used to obtain the surface translations and rotations for the half-space subjected to earthquake force. Parametric analysis is carried to understand the effect of additional material parameters of the reduced micropolar medium on the surface ground motions. Finally, ground motions are simulated for 2012 Wutai, Taiwan, earthquake by modelling the medium as a homogeneous reduced micropolar half-space consisting of rock material properties. © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. part of Springer Nature.