By taking the failure surface as a combination of the arc of a logarithmic spiral and a straight line, passive earth pressure coefficients in the presence of horizontal pseudostatic earthquake body forces have been computed for an inclined wall placed against cohesionless backfill material. The presence of seismic forces induces a considerable reduction in the passive earth resistance. The reduction increases with an increase in the magnitude of the earthquake acceleration. The effect becomes more predominant for loose sands. The obtained results compared well with those reported in the literature using curved failure surfaces. However, the results available in the literature on the basis of a planar failure surface are found to predict comparatively higher passive resistance.Key words: earth pressures, earthquakes, limit equilibrium, plasticity, retaining walls, sands.