Love Waves

Published: June 19, 2019 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Love Waves Mean?

Love waves are a type of seismic wave that can be defined as dispersive surface waves with horizontal motion, perpendicular to the direction of wave propagation. They are formed when shear or S waves interact with the earth's surface or with shallow structures.

The amplitude of vibration generated by a Love wave decreases with depth. Love waves along with Rayleigh waves are used for in-situ stress measurement in geotechnical investigation for trenchless projects. It was discovered by Augustus Edward Hough Love in 1911.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Love Waves

Love waves are horizontally polarized shear waves confined to a surface layer and cannot occur if the velocity of the upper layer is more than the lower layer. The velocity of the Love wave is between the shear wave velocity of these two layers and depends on the wavelength.

Love and Rayleigh waves are used in geotechnical investigation for non-destructive testing using spectral analysis of surface waves (SASW). Surface waves have a dispersive characteristic that is useful in determining shear wave velocity variation or stiffness of the soil layers with depth.


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