Types of Earthquake Waves and types of Earthquake

Types of Earthquake Waves and types of Earthquake

Posted by Manisha on May 09, 2020

The shaking of earth's surface or a part of it is known as Earthquake, which is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth’s lithosphere that creates seismic waves.

As we already discuss the definition of Earthquake and its causes in my post - What causes Earthquake and related Terminologies. Now we will discuss the types of earthquake waves and types of the earthquake, separately in detail.

It will be my pleasure if you would like to share your earthquake facing story and feelings. How did you felt when you faced the earthquake for the very first time? Did you suddenly recognize the earthquake tremors? May anyone among you was the survival of this calamity. It will be great to read ur experiences. Its also possible that your feeling, stories' survival experiences will be helpful to others. And also after reading this post you May relate with, which kind of earthquake waves were those and belongs to which type.

There are four types of earthquake waves according to A.E.H.Love these are in the table here:

Seismic Waves Properties Other Names
  • This wave has the shortest wavelength among the rest of the four waves.
  • It is compressional waves that are longitudinal in nature.
  • Its velocity is about 5-8 km per second.
  • It is pressure waves that travel faster than other waves.
  • These can travel through any type of material i.e solid, liquid(fluid), and air.
  • Typical speeds are 330 m/s in the air,1450 m/s in water, and about 5000 m/s in granite.
  • Primary Waves
  • Push Waves
  • These are of medium wavelength.
  • The vibration is transverse or at right angles to the direction of the propagation of waves.
  • S-waves can travel only through solid(elastic medium) and liquids.
  • Its velocity is about 4-5 km/sec.
  • These waves are the main evidence to assume that the earth’s core is liquid.
  • Secondary Waves
  • Shake or Shear Waves
  • It travels near the earth’s surface within the depth of about 32 km from the surface.
  • These waves travel like sea-waves, with a rotary movement in a vertical plane of the direction of propagation.
  • These waves cause the maximum damage.
  • These are supposed to be produced by a combination of P and S waves.
  • Rayleigh Waves
  • Surface Waves
Love Waves
  • These are horizontally polarised shear waves (SH waves), existing on in the presence of a semi-infinite medium overlain by an upper layer of finite thickness.
  • It is named after A.E.H.LOVE, a Britisher.
  • SH Waves

Five types of Earthquakes

There are mainly four types of earthquake but in recent days in some regions near a big reservoir, which are multipurpose in nature like to generate electricity, irrigation, fishing, tourism, many more, faced the earthquake. So one new type of man-made earthquake came into existence. The five types of earthquake are as follows:

Volcanic Earthquake - The earthquake which occurs due to the volcanic eruption, is known as a volcanic earthquake.

Tectonic Earthquake - These are very common ones. This kind of earthquakes generated due to the sliding of rocks along a fault.

Explosion Earthquake - This kind of earthquake occurs due to human destructive activities or due to the explosion of chemical or nuclear devices. For example— Bomb blast during war etc.

Collapse Earthquake - In the areas of intense mining activity, sometimes the roof of underground mines collapse, causing minor tremors. These are called collapse Earthquakes.

Reservoir Induced Earthquake - The earthquake which occurs in the areas of large reservoirs are referred to as Reservoir Induced Earthquake.