primary-wave

primary wave

noun
Seismology, P wave.

Origin:
1915–20

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
primary wave  
A type of seismic body wave in which rock particles vibrate parallel to the direction of wave travel. Primary waves are alternatingly compressional and extensional, and cause the rocks they pass through to change in volume. These waves are the fastest traveling seismic waves and can travel through solids, liquids, and gases. Also called P wave. See Note at earthquake.
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