Seismic waves induce elastic deformation along the propagation path in the subsurface. The term elastic refers to the type of deformation that vanishes upon removal of the stress which has caused it. In exploration seismology, we are primarily interested in compressional and shear waves which travel through the interior of solid layers, and thus are characterized as body waves. Whereas in engineering seismology, we also make use of Love and Rayleigh waves which travel along the free surface, and thus are characterized as surface waves.
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The narrow scope of engineering seismology includes its application to geotechnical site investigations for buildings and engineering infrastructures, such as dams, levees, bridges, and tunnels, and landslide and active-fault investigations. It also includes seismic microzonation to determine soil amplification and liquefaction susceptibility within a municipal area to estimate the earthquake risk. The broad scope of engineering seismology also includes its application to groundwater exploration, coal and mineral exploration, geothermal exploration, and investigations of historic buildings and archaeological sites. This book primarily is devoted to application of the seismic method to geotechnical engineering. Nevertheless, the book also includes chapters on case studies for the broader scope of engineering seismology.