How fast does the shock from an earthquake travel?



  1. 0 Votes

    The speed is different depending on the nature of the rock – velocities are on the order of kilometers per second, but it can range quite widely depending on rock composition and properties such as density – some may be as slow as 1 km/sec (or less), others could be 20 or more km/sec. The speed also depends on which earthquake waves you mean – P waves or S waves are rather different, and there are other kinds of earthquake waves. Pressure and temperature also affect both the travel times through the same kind of rock, and the speed of the different earthquake waves. So there is no simple answer to your question.

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  2. 0 Votes

    Shock waves can moves at a variety of speeds.  The fastest type of shock wave is a compressional wave or “P-wave.”  They can move through solids and liquids and travel back and forth along the motion of the earthquake.  Shear waves or “S-waves” move perpendicular to the way the earthquake motion is travelling.  Surface waves have more of a ripple effect.  They move the slowest but can cause molecules to liquefy, which can cause immense amount of damage.  These are also the waves that can cause tsunamis.

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