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  • The term (derived from the Greek word seismos, for earthquake) refers to the waves that result from cataclysmic events such as explosions, earthquakes, or similar undulations that travel through the ocean or the earth as a result of some force that generates violent movement (e.g., tectonic plate stresses). In geographical terminology, there are body waves (in the interior of the earth) and surface waves (as in ocean waves). The word is frequently used to describe “earthshaking” social and political events, such as revolutions, that render society apart.


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