Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 67

seismic wave - Types of seismic wave, Some principles of locating an event

waves earth transverse earthquake

A shock wave propagated through the Earth as a result of an earthquake. There are four types of wave. P (compressional) and S (transverse) waves both have high frequency, and are transmitted through the Earth, but only P waves can travel through fluid zones. L waves are transverse, have low frequency, and are confined to the upper part of the crust. Rayleigh waves develop close to the epicentre, and are responsible for the rolling movement of the Earth's surface during an earthquake.

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