Can P and S waves travel through liquids?
P and S waves together are sometimes called body waves because they can travel through the body of the earth, and are not trapped near the surface. These waves can travel through solids, liquids, and gases. P waves can travel through the liquid outer core. An S wave is a different beast.
What can S waves pass through?
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. S-waves are not transmitted through the liquid outer core.
Can S waves travel through gas?
P waves are compressional waves. Therefore, they too can travel through solids, liquids and gases. Shear waves can travel only through solids. Thus, S waves (which are a type of shear wave)will travel through solids and but will be absorbed by liquids and gases.
What materials can S waves travel through and how fast are they?
They change the rock’s shape as they travel. S-waves are about half as fast as P-waves, at about 3.5 km (2 miles) per second. S-waves can only move through solids. This is because liquids and gases don’t resist changing shape.