November 20th with Phil Hammer

Different Wave Types

Yet another week has passed for the Future Science Leaders group! Although most of our meetings are members only, here’s a little recap of the activities we did on November 20 with geologist, Phil Hammer. This was the second week of our five week long Earth Science and Space Unit, and there’s still just so much more to learn! The Earth is really just amazing and filled with an endless amount of secrets left for us to discover.

Looking at earthquakes, did you know that there are many different types of waves (how the quakes travel through the Earth)? Some of which we went through include S-waves, P-waves, and last of all, L-waves (L is shortened for Love). Believe it or not, these Seismic waves travel through the Earth in different ways and speeds with the S-waves hitting first, the P-waves coming in second, and the L-waves reaching the destination as the last of the three. S-waves, P-waves and L-waves are recorded efficiently and recorded down at stations (the further away a station is, the longer the travel time of the seismic waves AND the greater the distance in arrival time between the P- and S-waves) once Earthquakes occur. They can help us locate the epicentre of these natural disasters! The ‘Jeffreys-Bullen graph’ is one such way with it being able to estimate the distance to the earthquake epicentre based on the delay in arrival time between the first P-waves and the first S-waves.

So why do earthquakes occur anyways? This is caused by the constant movement of the plate tectonics. With different combinations of oceanic and continental plates constantly converging and diverging, mountains and ridges are formed. This is also why Pangaea no longer exists. Some islands such as Hawaii exist solely because of these moving plates! It’s a good thing that our Earth isn’t just flat and boring, but like the saying “there’s no such thing as a free meal,” earthquakes will also be formed. Apart from the danger they pose to us, studying them and the way they travel is truly amazing!


4 Responses to November 20th with Phil Hammer

  1. cocoa77 says:

    I remember learning about this in science 10. Cool to know, but kind of scary too!

  2. lenawychoi says:

    I found it very interesting how waves can bounce around inside the earth as well, so earthquakes can be felt on the other side of the world!

  3. Ioana says:

    …..this actually makes sense….last year in Science 10 i was so lost in this unit!!

  4. Rowena403 says:

    ahaha ya science 10… good times

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