Worksheet: Seismic Waves

In this worksheet, we will practice describing the similarities and differences between infrasonic S-waves and P-waves and how they travel through the Earth's interior.

Q1:

Which of the following statements about S-Waves is not correct?

  • AS-waves travel through solids.
  • BS-waves are longitudinal.
  • CS-waves cannot travel through Earthโ€™s core.
  • DS-waves are slower than P-waves.

Q2:

Which of the following statements about P-waves is not correct?

  • AP-waves are longitudinal.
  • BP-waves travel through liquids.
  • CP-waves travel through solids.
  • DP-waves are slower than S-waves.

Q3:

The position of an earthquakeโ€™s epicenter is shown in the diagram. P-waves and S-waves are emitted from the epicenter. Three seismic sensor stations A, B, and C are shown.

Which station will detect only S-waves?

  • AStation A
  • BStation B
  • CStation C
  • DNone

Which station will detect only P-waves?

  • AStation C
  • BStation A
  • CNone
  • DStation B

Which station will detect S-waves and P-waves?

  • AStation B
  • BStation A
  • CStation C
  • DNone

Which station will detect neither P-waves nor S-waves?

  • ANone
  • BStation A
  • CStation B
  • DStation C

Q4:

The diagram shows the paths of P-waves and S-waves traveling through Earth from an earthquake epicenter. At each of the points ๐ด, ๐ต, ๐ถ, and ๐ท, a wave is either transmitted, absorbed, reflected, or refracted.

At ๐ด, is the wave transmitted, absorbed, reflected, or refracted?

  • ATransmitted
  • BAbsorbed
  • CRefracted
  • DReflected

At ๐ต, is the wave transmitted, absorbed, reflected, or refracted?

  • ATransmitted
  • BRefracted
  • CAbsorbed
  • DReflected

At ๐ถ, is the wave transmitted, absorbed, reflected, or refracted?

  • ATransmitted
  • BRefracted
  • CAbsorbed
  • DReflected

At ๐ท, is the wave transmitted, absorbed, reflected, or refracted?

  • ARefracted
  • BAbsorbed
  • CReflected
  • DTransmitted

Q5:

The Earth has two main layers below its crust; the core and the mantle. The core has an outer and inner region, as shown in the diagram. The temperature of and the pressure on the material in the mantle and the core increase with depth below the crust.

Does the material of the mantle exist in a solid, liquid, or gaseous state?

  • ASolid
  • BLiquid
  • CGaseous

Does the material of the outer core exist in a solid, liquid, or gaseous state?

  • AGaseous
  • BLiquid
  • CSolid

Does the material of the inner core exist in a solid, liquid, or gaseous state?

  • ASolid
  • BLiquid
  • CGaseous

Q6:

P-waves usually travel at a speed between 2 and 10 km/s. S-waves usually travel at a speed between 1 and 6 km/s. If P-waves and S-waves from an earthquake epicenter travel for 30 s, what is the average distance between the waves?

Q7:

A seismograph is shown, recorded by a seismometer. The seismograph shows the effect of both P-waves and S-waves that are produced from the same source.

Which travel faster, P-waves or S-waves?

  • AS-waves travel faster than P-waves.
  • BP-waves travel faster than S-waves.
  • CP-waves and S-waves travel at the same speed.

Which produce more displacement, the P-waves or the S-waves?

  • AThe S-waves produce more displacement than the P-waves.
  • BThe P-waves and S-waves produce the same displacement.
  • CThe P-waves produce more displacement than the S-waves.

Q8:

The diagram shows the readings from three seismometers used to measure seismic waves emitted from the epicenter of an earthquake. The diagram has three parts, and each part shows two different seismometers. A circle around each seismometer shows all the positions from which seismic waves that it detects could have traveled in a time that is proportional to the radius of the circle. Some of the points are shown in more than one of the parts of the diagram, but there is only one point that is the earthquake epicenter. Which points in the diagrams mark the earthquake epicenter?

  • APoints ๐ถ and ๐ท
  • BPoints ๐ต, ๐ท, and ๐น
  • CPoints ๐ต, ๐ถ, and ๐ธ
  • DPoints ๐ด, ๐ถ, and ๐ธ
  • EPoints ๐ต, ๐ท, and ๐ธ

Q9:

The diagram shows two kinds of infrasound waves that can move through Earth.

Which of the waves is an S-wave?

  • A(B)
  • B(A)

Which of the waves is a P-wave?

  • A(B)
  • B(A)

Q10:

The houses (a) and (b) shown in the diagram are each being vibrated by seismic waves. The waves are traveling perpendicularly to the Earthโ€™s surface where the houses stand.