Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration


Location of the Epicenter of an Earthquake:

Two types of waves that result from an earthquake are P waves and S waves. P waves travel faster than S waves; the speed of P waves through granite in the crust of the earth is approximately 6 km/sec whereas S waves only travel at about 3.5 km/sec. These two types of waves are used to determine the epicenter of an earthquake.

The sequence of problems in the following exercise will show you how this is done.

KM#6: Location of the Epicenter of an Earthquake (Level 2)


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant GEO-0355224. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.