# What do P and S waves tell us about earthquakes?

## What do P and S waves tell us about earthquakes?

What can seismic waves tell us? Studies of the different types of seismic waves can tell us much about the nature of the Earth’s structure. For example, seismologists can use the direction and the difference in the arrival times between P-waves and S-waves to determine the distance to the source of an earthquake.

## What do S waves do during an earthquake?

An S wave, or shear wave, is a seismic body wave that shakes the ground back and forth perpendicular to the direction the wave is moving.

Do earthquakes cause P and S waves?

This is how P waves travel through the earth, moving it back and forth. An earthquake also causes secondary or shear waves, called S waves. These travel at about half the speed of P waves, but can be much more destructive.

What 2 types of waves are associated with an earthquake?

Types of Seismic Waves The two main types of waves are body waves and surface waves. Body waves can travel through the Earth’s inner layers, but surface waves can only move along the surface of the planet like ripples on water. Earthquakes send out seismic energy as both body and surface waves.

### What is the relationship between S and P waves?

P waves travel fastest and are the first to arrive from the earthquake. In S or shear waves, rock oscillates perpendicular to the direction of wave propagation. In rock, S waves generally travel about 60% the speed of P waves, and the S wave always arrives after the P wave.

### What happens to S and P waves as they travel inside Earth?

S waves cannot pass through the liquid outer core, but P waves can. The waves are refracted as they travel through the Earth due to a change in density of the medium. When the waves cross the boundary between two different layers, there is a sudden change in direction due to refraction. …

Where do S waves move?

S waves shake the ground in a shearing, or crosswise, motion that is perpendicular to the direction of travel. These are the shake waves that move the ground up and down or from side to side. S waves are called secondary waves because they always arrive after P waves at seismic recording stations.

What is the difference between S and P waves?

P waves are recorded earlier than S waves, because they travel at a higher velocity. P waves can travel through liquid and solids and gases, while S waves only travel through solids. Scientists use this information to help them determine the structure of Earth.

#### How do P waves and S waves move?

P waves can travel through solids, liquids, and even gases. S waves shake the ground in a shearing, or crosswise, motion that is perpendicular to the direction of travel. These are the shake waves that move the ground up and down or from side to side.

#### What are facts about P waves?

Fast Facts: – These waves can also help to determine the depths of layers of molten and semi-molten rock and other things within the earth. When there is an earthquake about to occur, Primary Waves are the first one to arrive. P-waves can move through both solid rocks and fluids and S-waves can only move through solid rock.

Are P waves faster than S waves?

P waves travel faster than S waves, and are the first waves recorded by a seismograph in the event of a disturbance. P waves travel at speeds between 1 and 14 km per second, while S waves travel significantly slower, between 1 and 8 km per second. The S waves are the second wave to reach a seismic station measuring a disturbance.

What is the speed of P and S waves?

P waves travel at speeds between 1 and 14 km per second, while S waves travel significantly slower, between 1 and 8 km per second.

## What seismic wave is most destructive?

Although surface waves travel more slowly than S-waves, they can be much larger in amplitude and can be the most destructive type of seismic wave. There are two basic kinds of surface waves: Rayleigh waves , also called ground roll, travel as ripples similar to those on the surface of water.