Analysis of refraction seismic data falls into two classes: traditional head-wave analysis, in which discrete "first arrivals" are mapped in terms of traveltime and distance, and modern waveform analysis, in which the time series recorded at each seismometer is considered in its entirety. Although head-wave analysis, which makes no use of amplitude information, is clearly the more primitive and less effective approach, its application is still widespread, particularly in the field of geotechnical engineering. This note is addressed to practitioners of head-wave analysis.

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