Which surface wave vibrates at right angles to its direction of motion?






Love wave


Rayleigh wave

Expert Answers

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This question requires us to understand each of these four types of seismic wave. Once we know how each one works, we can see which one best fits the description of a surface wave that vibrates at right angles.

P-waves propagate longitudinally; that is, the vibration is along a line parallel to the direction in which the wave propagates. So that can't be the answer.

S-waves propagate transversely; that is, at right angles to the direction of motion. However, they are body waves that propagate across the entire body of rock, not surface waves as the question asked. So that can't be the answer either.
Love waves also propagate transversely, and furthermore they are surface waves; so this is most likely the answer. But let's see about the fourth option, just in case.

Rayleigh waves propagate both transversely and longitudinally, and they are surface waves as well. So while this could be an answer, it's not the best answer because love waves are only transverse while Rayleigh waves are both transverse and longitudinal.

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