Earth Quake Shaking Essay

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Earthquake shaking and damage is the result of three basic types of elastic waves. Two of the three propagate within a body of rock. The faster of these body waves is called the primary or P wave. Its motion is the same as that of a sound wave in that, as it spreads out, it alternately pushes (compresses) and pulls (dilates) the rock. These P waves are able to travel through both solid rock, such as granite mountains, and liquid material, such as volcanic magma or the water of the oceans. The slower wave through the body of rock is called the secondary or S wave. As an S wave propagates, it shears the rock sideways at right angles to the direction of travel. If a liquid is sheared sideways or twisted, it will not spring back, hence S waves cannot propagate in the liquid parts of the earth, such as oceans and lakes. The actual speed of P and S seismic waves depends on the density and elastic properties of the rocks and soil through which they pass. In most earthquakes, the P waves are felt first. The effect is similar to a sonic boom that bumps and rattles windows. Some seconds later, the S waves arrive with their up-and-down and side-to-side motion, shaking the ground surface vertically and horizontally. This is the wave motion that is so damaging to structures. The third general type of earthquake wave is called a surface wave, reason being is that its motion is restricted to near the ground surface. Such waves correspond to ripples of water that travel across a lake. Surface waves in earthquakes can be divided into two types. The first is called a Love wave. Its motion is essentially that of S waves that have no vertical displacement; it moves the ground from side to side in a horizontal plane but at right angles to the direction of propagation. The horizontal shaking of Love waves is particuly damaging to the foundations of structures. The second type of

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