What Are Three Types of Earthquake Waves?

The three types of earthquake waves are primary waves, secondary waves and surface waves. Primary waves are referred to as P waves, and secondary waves are called S waves. P waves and S waves move past Earth's crust, which is why they are also called body waves.

Surface waves do not penetrate past Earth's surface. These waves have little significance in the study of earthquakes because they do not provide information about what happens below Earth's surface.

When an earthquake occurs, the P waves are felt first, the S waves are felt second and the surface waves are felt last.