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surface wave

noun, Geology.
a seismic wave that travels along or parallel to the earth's surface (distinguished from body wave). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for surface wave
Historical Examples
  • Now, the surface wave is the path marked by a submarine on the surface of the water.

    Our Navy in the War

    Lawrence Perry
  • It wasn't exactly an A-bomb, but the spray hit us a half mile away, and the surface wave swamped us.

    Tabby Winston Marks
surface wave in Science
surface wave  
A seismic wave that travels across the surface of the Earth as opposed to through it. Surface waves usually have larger amplitudes and longer wavelengths than body waves, and they travel more slowly than body waves do. Love waves and Rayleigh waves are kinds of surface waves. Compare body wave. See Note at earthquake.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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