p and s wave related question. HELP!?

Why does the time between the arrival of the P wave and S wave become greater and greater as you get farther away from the epicenter?

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It's because p waves are faster than s waves, so the difference is related to how far away the source is. The bigger the difference, the farther away.

  • 1 decade ago

    Seismic waves are basically waves of energy caused by the sudden breaking of rock within the earth or even a massive explosion such as a volcano. They are the energy that travels through the earth and this energy will then get recorded on seismographs.

    The first kind of seismic waves are known P wave or primary waves. This is the fastest kind of seismic wave. The P wave can move through solid rock and fluids, like water or the liquid layers of the earth.

    lets compare P and S waves to lightning and thunder. Light travels faster than sound, so during a thunderstorm you will first see the lightning and then you will hear the thunder. If you are close to the lightning, the thunder will boom right after the lightning, but if you are far away from the lightning, you can count several seconds before you hear the thunder. The further you are from the storm, the longer it will take between the lightning and the thunder.

    P waves are like the lightning, and S waves are like the thunder. The P waves travel faster and shake the ground where you are first. The S wave will follow. If you are close to the earthquake, the P and S wave will come one right after the other, but if you are far away, there will be more time between the two.This is why P waves are faster than S waves. It pushes and pulls the rock as it moves through just like sound waves push and pull the air.

    Hope this helped you out a bit.

  • 1 decade ago

    Please visit my slide show at URL to know more about the characters of waves.


    P wave or primary waves moves the particles in the direction of its propagation and travels at the speed of 13 to 17 K/m per second.Secondary waves that moves the particles perpendicular to the direction of its propagation travels at about half the speed of primary wave. This speed difference is used in my quake alarm that has given the warning 2 hours before Tsunami struck our Indian coast. You get an advance warning of damaging wave by 1 second for every 8 k/m distance from the epicenter ( Focus) The more the distance from epicenter the warning time will be more. Since my quake alarm can be manufacture just for US $ 20 every house can install and save their life.My quake alarm has proved its capability in 5 different occasions. Our Government has not yet come forward to investigate my claims.

    Source(s): My research work on early warning system for earthquake.
  • 1 decade ago

    It becomes greater and greater b/c for every mile the distance b/t the primary and secondary waves become greater as well

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    4 years ago

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The link below leads to a p and s wave animation.

  • 1 decade ago

    p waves are the short wave and do little damage... s waves are long waves and are the ones that do big damage

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