Rayleigh Wave

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Rayleigh Wave

1. A two-dimensional barotropic disturbance in a fluid having one or more discontinuities in the vorticity profile. </dd>
2. A surface wave associated with the free boundary of a solid, such that a surface particle describes an ellipse whose major axis is normal to the surface and whose center is at the undisturbed surface. At maximum particle displacement away from the solid surface the motion of the particle is opposite to that of the wave. </dd>
The propagation velocity of a Rayleigh wave is slightly less than that of a shear wave in the solid; the wave amplitude of the Rayleigh wave diminishes exponentially with depth. [[/a>|/a> ]]


This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use