Which Type of Seismic Wave Is the Most Destructive?
Surface waves cause the most damage to things like highways, bridges and buildings. Surface waves are one of four types of seismic waves generated during an earthquake.
The four types of seismic waves present during an earthquake are primary waves, secondary waves, Rayleigh waves and Love waves. Rayleigh and Love waves are the two types of surface waves.
Rayleigh waves are the surface waves responsible for the rolling or heaving during an earthquake. Love waves are responsible for sideways movements.
The other, less destructive types of waves present during an earthquake are primary and secondary waves. Primary waves travel quickly through liquid and solid matter. Secondary waves travel through solids and move more slowly.