Seismic Waves

Seismic waves are vibrations that travel through the Earth carrying energy released during an earthquake. The waves transport the energy from the focus. They traverse through the interior of the Earth and across its surface. There are three main types of Seismic waves, which occur in the given order P waves, S waves, and Surface waves. P waves or primary waves occur before the others, in other words they are the first waves that happen. P waves push and pull the earth and the crust vibrates back and forth, back and forth. S waves or Secondary waves follow P waves. Unlike primary waves S waves not only move the crust back and forth but in all directions as well, also S waves can only go through solids while P waves can go through both solids and liquids. Surface waves may occur when P and S waves breech the surface. Surface waves travel slower than the other two waves. Surface waves have been known to create tremendous ground movements. Some surface waves tend to cause the ground to roll in a way that is not unlike the motion of a wave while other Surface shake buildings side to side like a rag doll.

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