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Tunnel waves are long period waves which on overcritical incidence have penetrated through thin high-velocity layers. The generation and propagation of these waves are studied by numerical experiments using synthetic seismograms. Tunnel waves may occur as secondary and primary arrivals, on retrograde and prograde branches. Observations from explosion and teleseismic data with low-frequency tunnel waves are presented. A model of the lower lithosphere with thin high-velocity layers explains not only the occurrence of tunnel waves but also the high-frequency transmission of Pn and Sn waves to teleseismic distances. This model is in accordance with the observation of seismic anisotropy in the upper mantle and suggests refinements of existing petrological models of the lower lithosphere.
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