An extension of the theoretical work of Lamb and Pekeris shows that a prominent phase (Airy phase) consisting of a group of waves of period 9-11 seconds, traveling across the ocean with a velocity of approximately 0.7 of the speed of sound in water, should be present on the seismograms of shallow-focus submarine earthquakes. This arrival corresponds to normal mode propagation at a stationary value of group velocity through the acoustic system consisting of the ocean and the rigid ocean bottom.
A phase fitting this description has been observed on the Milne-Shaw instruments at Bermuda for a series of Dominican Republic shocks. The Wenner seismographs at Huancayo recorded the Airy phase of a shock southwest of the Galapagos Islands.
The study of the Airy phase of a sufficient number of sea quakes would provide information concerning the nature of the ocean bottom since the latter affects both the periods and velocities of the Airy phase.