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1. n. [Geophysics]

An elastic body wave or sound wave in which particles oscillate in the direction the wave propagates. P-waves are the waves studied in conventional seismic data. P-waves incident on an interface at other than normal incidence can produce reflected and transmitted S-waves, in that case known as converted waves.

Synonyms: acoustic wavecompressional wavedilatational wave

See: acousticamplitude variation with offsetbody waveconverted wavedilatancy theorydilatationdiscontinuityelasticelastic waveinterval velocityPoisson's ratiorarefactionS-waveseismicshadow zoneshearSnell's lawsonicsonic logtransit timewave

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