Which seismic wave travels slowest?
Surface waves are the slowest of all seismic waves. They travel at 2.5 km (1.5 miles) per second.
Where do seismic waves travel slowest and fastest?
There are two types of body waves: P-waves travel fastest and through solids, liquids, and gases; S-waves only travel through solids. Surface waves are the slowest, but they do the most damage in an earthquake.
Which seismic wave type is most damaging?
Although surface waves travel more slowly than S-waves, they can be much larger in amplitude and can be the most destructive type of seismic wave. There are two basic kinds of surface waves: Rayleigh waves, also called ground roll, travel as ripples similar to those on the surface of water.
Why do P waves travel 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.