Summary and Info
The propagation of waves along and across the boundary between two media with different characteristic velocities is much more complicated when the source is on or near the boundary than when it is far away and the incident waves are plane. Examples of waves generated by localized sources near a boundary are the electromagnetic waves from the currents in a dipole on the surface of the earth and the seismic waves from a slip event in a fault in the earth's crust like the San Andreas fault in California. Both involve a type of surface wave that is called a lateral wave in electro magnetics and a head wave in seismology. Since the two are analogous and the latter is more easily visualized, it is conveniently used here to introduce and describe this important type of surface wave using the data of Y. Ben Zion and P. Malin ("San Andreas Fault Zone Head Waves Near Parkfield, CA," Science 251, 1592-1594, 29 March 1991).
More About the Author
W. F. Carter House, also known as the Carter House, is a historic home located at Mount Airy, Surry County, North Carolina.
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