Rayleigh Wave

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Related to Rayleigh Wave: primary wave, Surface wave

Rayleigh wave

[′rā·lē ‚wāv]
In seismology, a surface wave with a retrograde, elliptical motion at the free surface. Also known as R wave.
A wave which propagates on the surface of a solid; particle trajectories are ellipses in planes normal to the surface and parallel to the direction of propagation. Also known as surface wave.

Rayleigh Wave


an elastic disturbance that propagates along the free boundary of a solid body and is attenuated with depth. The existence of such waves was predicted by Lord Rayleigh in 1885.

Rayleigh waves occur on the earth’s surface during earthquakes. Ultrasonic waves used to check the surface layer of various device components and specimens are another example of Rayleigh waves. The thickness of the layer where the waves are localized is (1–2)λ, where λ is the wavelength. At a depth λ the energy density in a wave is ~0.05 of the density at the surface. Particles in Rayleigh waves move in elliptical trajectories whose semimajor axis is perpendicular to the surface of the body and whose semiminor axis is parallel to the direction of wave propagation. The phase velocity of Rayleigh waves is less than the phase velocities of longitudinal and shear waves and is equal to the group velocity.

In anisotropic media the structure and properties of Rayleigh waves depend on the type of anisotropy and the direction of wave propagation. There exist media, such as triclinic crystals, in which Rayleigh waves cannot exist at all. Sometimes, the term “Rayleigh waves” is applied to surface waves of a more general type that arise at the interface between a solid and a liquid or at the boundary of a system of solid or liquid layers with a solid half space.


Kol’skii, G. Volny napriazheniia v tverdykh telakh. Moscow, 1955. (Translated from English.)
Landau, L. D., and E. M. Lifshits. Teoriia uprugosti, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1965. (Teoreticheskaia fizika, vol. 7.)
Viktorov, I. A. Fizicheskie osnovy primeneniia ul’trazvukovykh voln Releia i Lemba v tekhnike. Moscow, 1966.
References in periodicals archive ?
When Rayleigh wave excitation is dominant, polarization analysis can be used to determine the incident azimuth.
1]) of the experimental curve of the HVSR, the transfer function and Rayleigh wave ellipticity for the fundamental mode.
2007, Rayleigh Wave Dispersion Curve Inversion via Genetic Algorithms and Posterior Probability Density Evaluation.
Helmy, "Influences of rotation, magnetic field, initial stress, and gravity on Rayleigh waves in a homogeneous orthotropic elastic half-space," Applied Mathematical Sciences, vol.
For instance, Harris and Pott [1] developed a Rayleigh wave AE model from a buried crack that predicts Rayleigh waves excited by the starting of a faulting event.
Datta [14] studied the effect of gravity on Rayleigh wave propagation in a homogeneous, isotropic elastic solid medium.
The SASW method is based on the particles motion of Rayleigh wave in heterogeneous media.
Measurements of phase velocity of Rayleigh waves of different frequencies can be used to determine a velocity depth profile.
7 and 8) and is chosen in such a way that the very large Rayleigh wave arrivals are avoided within the given observation time, and therefore the details of the early time arrivals can be examined.
Another option is to inspect the bolt in place by using cylindrical guided ultrasonic waves, which involves either placing a transducer on the exposed bolt end, or positioning a transducer so that a Rayleigh wave front a crack would be detected behind the thread root.
slightly higher than the Rayleigh wave speed of the more compliant of the two dissimilar materials sandwiching the interface, (46) or the lower Rayleigh wave speed of the two contacting materials.