What are the three types of seismic waves and how do they differ?

1 Answer
Dec 6, 2015

P-waves, S-waves, L-waves


They are distinguished by the manner they travel and their speed.

P-waves or primary waves are the fastest waves. It moves the earth in a push-pull motion. It travels through solids, liquids, and gases.

S-waves or secondary waves not as fast as p-waves. It moves the earth side by side. It can only travel through solids.

L-waves or surface waves are the slowest. It travels from the focus directly upward to the epicenter. Though it is the slowest it causes more of the damage during earthquake because it moves the earth up and down like waves in an ocean that causes the earth to bend and twist.