Consider the following seismic waves:

  1. Primary waves
  2. Secondary waves
  3. Rayleigh waves
  4. Love waves

Which of the above are surface waves?

Answer: [C] 3 & 4 Only

There are three types of waves generated during an earthquake: P (primary) waves, S (secondary) waves and surface waves. These waves are recorded at seismic recording stations one after another. While both P and S waves penetrate the interior of the Earth and are called body waves, surface waves do not penetrate the interior. The first kind of surface waves is called a Love wave. It's the fastest surface wave and is confined to the earth’s crust and moves only in horizontal direction. The other kind of surface wave is the Rayleigh wave, a Rayleigh wave rolls along the ground just like a wave rolls across a lake or an ocean. Most of the shaking felt from an earthquake is due to the Rayleigh wave, which can be much larger than the other waves.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module