# How Fast Do S Waves Travel?

## How do S waves travel?

An S wave is slower than a P wave and can only move through solid rock, not through any liquid medium. S waves move rock particles up and down, or side-to-side–perpendicular to the direction that the wave is traveling in (the direction of wave propagation). Click here to see a S wave in action.

## How do P waves and S waves travel through the Earth?

P-waves pass through both mantle and core, but are slowed and refracted at the mantle / core boundary at a depth of 2900 km. S-waves passing from the mantle to the core are absorbed because shear waves cannot be transmitted through liquids. This is evidence that the outer core does not behave like a solid substance.

## Why are P waves faster than S waves?

P-waves travel 60% faster than S-waves on average because the interior of the Earth does not react the same way to both of them. P-waves are compression waves that apply a force in the direction of propagation. The energy is thus less easily transmitted through the medium, and S-waves are slower.

## Are S waves faster than surface waves?

Types of waveThrough the body of the Earth these are called P-waves (for primary because they are fastest) and S-waves (for secondary since they are slower). However, where a free surface is present (like the Earthâ€“air interface) these two types of motion can combine to form complex surface waves.

## What do S waves feel like?

S waves are the second wave you feel in an earthquake. An S wave is slower than a P wave and only moves through solid rock. This wave moves rock up and down, or side-to-side. Because P waves are compression waves, they can move through a liquid.

## Why S wave Cannot travel through liquid?

S-waves cannot travel through liquids. When they reach the surface they cause horizontal shaking. Liquids don’t have any shear strength and so a shear wave cannot propagate through a liquid.

## What happens to S and P waves as they travel inside Earth?

P-waves pass through both mantle and core, but are slowed and refracted at the mantle / core boundary at a depth of 2900 km. S-waves passing from the mantle to the core are absorbed because shear waves cannot be transmitted through liquids. This is evidence that the outer core does not behave like a solid substance.

## Do P or S waves cause more damage?

S waves travel typically 60% of the speed of P waves. They are typically more damaging than the P waves because they are several times higher in amplitude. Earthquakes also produce surface waves which may cause motion perpendicular to the surface or parallel to the surface.

## Where do P waves travel the fastest?

P-waves travel through the earth’s interior many times faster than the speed of a jet airplane, taking only a few minutes to travel across the earth.