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ZingPath: Wave Types

Seismic Waves

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Wave Types

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Seismic Waves


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You get to take a look at the different types of waves, including transverse and longitudinal waves, and learn the difference between electromagnetic and mechanical waves.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Define seismic waves.
  • Explain the characteristics of seismic waves.

Everything You'll Have Covered

What is an earthquake and what effects are felt when one occurs?

An earthquake is the sudden release of energy from inside the Earth's crust. When an earthquake occurs, it is normally accompanied by intense vibrations that shake or move the surface and anything on it.

What are the two kinds of seismic waves?

The two kinds of seismic waves are body waves and surface waves.

What are the differences between these two types of seismic waves?

Body waves propagate through the inner layers of the Earth, whereas surface waves propagate along the surface. Body waves are also produced first and move faster. In addition, body waves have a higher frequency than surface waves, which means that the low-frequency surface waves are more easily detected by seismographs.

a) When two seismic waves meets, they _________.

~ Superpose.

b) When a seismic wave encounters a new medium or material different than the one it is traveling through, it is _________.

~ Refracted.

c) When a seismic wave loses its amplitude for any reason ,that means it has been ________.

~ Absorbed.

d) When a seismic wave encounters an obstacle, it may be _________ from the obstacle.

~ Reflected.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be able to define amplitude, body waves, and earthquakes.
Course Physics
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary amplitude, body waves, earthquakes