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Posted by on Monday, April 7, 2014 at 4:36pm.

Earthquakes are essentially sound waves—called seismic waves—traveling through the earth. Because the earth is solid, it can support both longitudinal and transverse seismic waves. The speed of longitudinal waves, called P waves, is 7800m/s . Transverse waves, called S waves, travel at a slower 4400m/s . A seismograph records the two waves from a distant earthquake.

If the S wave arrives 2.1min after the P wave, how far away was the earthquake? You can assume that the waves travel in straight lines, although actual seismic waves follow more complex routes.

  • physics - , Monday, April 7, 2014 at 5:56pm

    dp=v*t=7800*t
    ds=4400(t+2.1)

    but dp=ds
    set the equations equal, solve for t.
    then put it in either equation, and solve for the distance.

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