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Earthquake p-wave speeds

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PROBLEM: The speed of earthquake P-waves, Vp , can be calculated using the equation below. The quantities p, x and y relate to the physical properties of the rock (and their values are in SI units): p is the density, x describes ease of compression and y describes the rigidity of the rock.

________
Vp = √ x + 4/3 y (divided by p)
p

calculate the value of Vp if x = 1.6 x 1011 N m-2
y = 6.4 x 1010 N m-2
p = 3.4 x 103 kg m-1

answer in km s-1

then rearrange the equation to make p the subject

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Solution Summary

This is a numerical problem related to calculating earthquake p-wave speeds.

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distance from the seismograph to the location of earthquake

When an earthquake occurs, two types of sound waves are generated and travel through the earth. The primary, or P wave has a speed of about 8 km/s and the secondary wave, or S wave has a speed of about 4.5 km/s. A seismograph, located some distance away, records the arrival of the P wave, then 78 s later, records the arrival of the S wave. Assuming that waves travel in a straight line, how far is the seismograph away from the earthquake?

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