Seismic Velocity Tables

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A nice assortment ...

Table 2.2 from Introduction to Applied Geophysics by Burger, Sheehan, and Jones. Note the velocity of the air (this is the "air-wave" that we generate from the hammer swings!)


For fun, here is what P- and S-wave velocities look like in the whole earth - kind of complicated1. Look how fast P-waves can go! Compare to the speed of the space shuttle in orbit. Also, what happens to the S-wave velocity between ~ 2,900-5,100 km depth, and why? (Source:


1 There are two jumps of several percent at 410- and 660-km (phase transformations of olivine, (Mg,Fe)2SiO4) which appear to affect partial melting in the mantle of the earth and the chemical composition of basalts (but I digress).