Faultline: Seismic Science from the Epicenter
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P and S waves
from the Waves page in Quake Basics

P and S waves begin underground at the focus of an earthquake. P waves travel like sound waves, compressing the material they pass through. S waves move the earth side to side or up and down, depending on whether the wave movement is horizontal or vertical relative to the surface of the earth. This S wave is vertical, moving the earth up and down.

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P and S waves


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