- Anonymous4 years agoFavorite Answer
In seismology, Love waves (also named Q waves) are surface seismic waves that cause horizontal shifting of the earth during an earthquake. A.E.H. Love predicted the existence of Love waves mathematically in 1911: from him they take their name. They form a distinct class, different from other types of seismic waves, such as P-waves and S-waves (both body waves), or Rayleigh waves (another type of surface wave). Love waves travel with a slower velocity than P- or S- waves, but faster than Rayleigh waves.
The particle motion of a Love wave forms a horizontal circle or ellipse moving in the direction of propagation. Moving deeper into the material, motion decreases to a "node" and then alternately increases and decreases as one examines deeper layers of particles. The amplitude, or maximum particle motion, decreases rapidly as one examines deeper layers of particles.
Since Love waves travel on the Earth's surface, the strength (or amplitude) of the waves decreases exponentially with the depth of the earthquake. However, given their confinement to the surface, their amplitude decays only as
where r represents the distance the wave has traveled from the earthquake. Surface waves therefore decay more slowly with distance than do body waves, which travel in three dimensions. Large earthquakes may generate Love waves that travel around the Earth several times before dissipating.