Rayleigh-wave Motion

3s Novice

Rayleigh Waves—surface waves that move in an elliptical motion, producing both a vertical and horizontal component of motion in the direction of wave propagation.

Particle motion consists of elliptical motions (generally retrograde elliptical) in the vertical plane and parallel to the direction of propagation.  Amplitude decreases with depth.  Material returns to its original shape after wave passes.

Animation by Larry Braile,Purdue University.