Earthquakes create many different types of waves, each with a different velocity. Seismic waves are the waves from earthquakes that we actually measure and they are broken down into two different categories: (1) Pressure Waves (P-waves): the highest velocity wave
(2) Body Waves (Transverse S-waves): body waves travel through the inside of the Earth
(3) Surface Waves: surface waves are like water waves and they are the waves we actually see and feel. One type of surface wave, Rayleigh waves, makes it feel like the ground is rolling. The other type of surface wave, Love waves or L-waves, makes it feel like the ground is shaking.
When the epicenter (the origin) of an earthquake is at a location underwater, it may cause a tsumani, a large ocean wave. Tsunamis are not tidal waves as some may think (tidal waves are caused by the gravitational force of the moon, sun, and planets on the tides). With normal waves you see at the beach everyday, the water flows in circles. With a tsunami, the water flows straight and is therefore much more powerful.
Did you know that there are more than a million earthquakes on Earth each year?
Earthquakes create three different kinds of waves, a forward-backward compressional wave, a side-side shear wave, and an up-down rolling wave. The compressional waves are basically sound waves moving through the earth; the other two are more like ocean waves.
Click Here to return to the search form.