Abstract

Seismic records at Edmonton (EDM) and Suffield (SES) between January 1976 and February 1980 show 220 events with magnitudes less than 4 originating near Rocky Mountain House. Many of these events show well defined Sn, Sg, and Pg phases and a small variation in the difference of SgSn and SgPg. Analysis of the theoretical travel times using a structure determined for central Alberta yields an average focal depth of 20 ± 5 km and an average epicentral distance of 175 ± 5 km southwest of Edmonton for 40 of these events. Because Sn was not clear on the remainder, it was not possible to get focal depths for all the events.Seismic moments of 80 events with local magnitudes from 1.6 to 3.5 were found to be in the range of 6.6 ± 2 × 1018 to 7.9 ± 2 × 1020 dyn∙cm (6.6 ± 2 × 1013 to 7.9 ± 2 × 1015 N∙cm). A relationship between local magnitude and seismic moment was log (M0) = 1.3ML + 16.6. This is similar to that determined for California. Source radii, where they could be determined, were 500 ± 50 m and stress drops were 0.75 ± 0.75 bar (75 ± 75 kPa).The energy release of 263 events recorded at EDM from the Rocky Mountain House area was 5.6 × 1017 erg (5.6 × 1010 J). The b value for this earthquake swarm was 0.8, similar to that observed in other parts of western Canada.The depths of focus, the low stress drops, and the statistical similarity to other natural earthquake sequences suggest that at least part of the swarm is of a natural origin.

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