The seismic wave or energy returned to a receiver from a seismic source after reflection according to Snell's Law at a discontinuity where there is a contrast in acoustic impedance.

Basically, this usually means putting a steel plate on the ground, and hitting it with a sledgehammer. The resulting seismic wave is reflected back to a receiver nearby (usually in front of the plate) and the results interpreted. Different rocks reflect seismic waves in different ways: some let them through entirely, others reflect them partially.

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