Contact: Bill Steigerwald
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Caption: This diagram represents a cross-section of the Earth beneath the ocean, with the layers labeled on the right. It illustrates the paths of earthquake waves (white lines) from an earthquake source (white star) through the Earth to a seismometer location (blue triangle). Halfway through their journey, the waves can reflect off of the surface or a melt layer. The longer path goes all the way to the surface before the waves are reflected. A shorter path is possible if the waves get reflected off of a melt layer at the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (represented by the yellow-orange area beneath the hotspot). Waves taking this shorter path will arrive several tens of seconds before waves that miss the melt layer and have to travel to the surface.
Credit: Credit: Nicholas Schmerr
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