Scientists use _______ waves to find an earthquake’s epicenter.

Scientists use body waves, specifically P waves (Primary waves) and S waves (Secondary waves), to determine an earthquake’s epicenter.

The process of locating an earthquake’s epicenter using P and S waves is integral to the Incident Command System (ICS) during seismic events. This system, designed for efficient and effective management of emergency responses, relies on accurate and timely information to allocate resources and deploy response teams. For instance, knowing the epicenter allows emergency managers to assess potential impact areas more accurately, prioritize areas for immediate response, and understand the scale of the event for resource allocation.

From the perspective of emergency management personnel, the ability to quickly and accurately locate an earthquake’s epicenter is seen as a critical capability. It informs decision-making processes, enhances situational awareness, and significantly impacts the effectiveness of the response efforts. Emergency responders often rely on this information to strategize their operations, focusing on areas most likely to have sustained significant damage or where populations are at greatest risk.