Earthquake Monitoring

EQ Monitoring Basics

P Waves

Cartoon image showingl

The fastest wave, and therefore the first to arrive at a given location.
Also known as compressional waves, the P wave alternately compresses and expands material in the same direction it is traveling.
Can travel through all layers of the Earth.
Generally felt by humans as a bang or thump.

S Waves

The S wave is slower than the P wave and arrives next, shaking the ground up and down and back and forth perpendicular to the direction it is traveling.
Also know as shear waves.

Surface Waves

Cartoon image showing the travel of the

Surface waves follow the P and S waves.
Also known as Rayleigh and Love waves.
These waves travel along the surface of the earth.


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