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Seismic waves are waves of energy that travel through the Earth, and are a result of an earthquake, explosion, or a volcano that imparts low-frequency acoustic energy.

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There are two main types of seismic wave: Body waves Surface waves Types of Body Waves Body waves: Body waves are the waves that travells through the body of the Earth. Two types of Body waves which are:

1. P Waves : Primary waves (P-waves) are compressional waves that are longitudinal in nature. 2. S Waves : Secondary waves (S-waves) are shear waves that are transverse in nature. Types of Surface Waves Surface wave : Surface waves are the waves that travells through the surface of the Earth. Two types of Surface waves which are:

1. Rayleigh (R) waves : Rayleigh waves are surface waves that travel as ripples with motions that are similar to those of waves on the surface of water. 2. Love (L) waves : Love waves are horizontally polarized shear waves (SH waves), existing only in the presence of a semi-infinite medium overlain by an upper layer of finite thickness. Types of Seismic waves Conversion of seismic waves Conversion: Conversion is a term applied to change a wave into another wave. Conversion occours in the interface between solid and liquid or solid and solid. When an S- or P-wave strikes an interface at an angle other than 90 degrees, a phenomenon known as mode conversion occurs. Discontinuity of Earth If the interface is between a solid and liquid, S becomes P or vice versa and if the interface is between two solid media, mode conversion results.

Discontinuities : 1) Mohorovicic Discontinuity 2) Gutenberg discontinuity Places where conversion occurs

A P-wave can generate reflected P-waves, and S-waves as well as refracted P-waves and S-waves K P-wave in the outer core I P-Wave in the inner core

J S-Wave in the inner core


begins as P-wave reflected off of the surface converted to S-wave

ScP Begins as S-wave reflected off outer core Converted to P-wave I Reflected off the outer core/inner core boundary

SKJKP When S-waves hit the outer core, it is converted to P-waves(K) and this P-waves refracted as S-wave in the inner core(J),again begins as S-wave, transmitted as P wave in the outer core to the surface.

PSKIKP (not possible): When P-wave reflected off the surface, is converted to S-wave which reflects off the outer core and converted to P-wave in the mantle thus PSKIKP is not possible. Because, K is the property of P wave in outer core.