A long dispersive train of waves corresponding to higher modes of the Rayleigh-wave equation (including Sezawa's M2 wave) for the continental crust-mantle system is positively identified, apparently for the first time. Observed particle motion is elliptical and retrograde, in agreement with theory. Although several theoretical studies have been published in which progressive elliptical particle motion was found, all of these involved values of the elastic constants unsuitable for the present problem.

The beginnings of the short-period branches of the higher modes can account for the high-frequency longitudinal and vertical components of the continental surface-wave phase Lg. The large amplitudes and the peculiar appearance of Rg appear to depend on the broad flat minimum of the group velocity curve of the lowest or Rayleigh mode.

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