Document: Diagram of seismic wave movement

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There are two types of waves that can be used to study the Earth's interior:

  • P-waves are Primary or Compressional Waves. Faster waves that have speeds of 5 km/s at the top of the crust, 8 km/s at the top of the mantle, and 14 km/s at the bottom of the mantle. They can travel through liquids and so can pass through Earth's liquid outer core.
  • S-waves are Shear or Transverse waves. Slower than P-waves, they cannot travel through liquids and do not pass through the Earth's core.
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Tags geosciences, seismic, earthquakes, shaping the Earth, P-waves, S-waves,