Rayleigh wave

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A type of surface wave which travels along a free interface. Particle motion is elliptical in a plane perpendicular to the interface and retrograde (at the top of the elliptical orbit movement is in the opposite direction to that in which energy is travelling). Rayleigh waves travel at about 90% of the speed of S-waves in the same medium. See ground roll.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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