# How are the ZNE, ZRT and LQT coordinate systems defined?

I'm confused about the direction of Z (upward or downward?), R (outward or toward the source?) and T.

## 1 Answer

Z depends upon convention, but in geophysics we typically use Z=positive downward. R is radial and the positive direction is defined in the direction FROM the source TOWARD the receiver. T polarity can be determined from the right-hand rule once you have Z and R.

For reference, this is the based on the convention for polarity as described by Aki and Richards (1980).