Abstract

Seismic data collected from the Ensenada Bay earthquake swarm of late 1981 were used to calculate the spectra of ground displacement. Data from the stations of Ensenada (ENX) and Cerro Bola (CBX), at epicentral distances of 14 and 57 km, respectively, were used to evaluate source parameters. The focal depths determined for these events were less than 10 km. The focal mechanism was a strike-slip fault type, with the plane of motion striking N52°W, parallel to the Agua Blanca Fault. Seismic moments ranging from 3.44 × 1019 to 5.99 × 1020 dyn∙cm (3.44 × 1014 to 5.99 × 1015 N∙cm) were estimated for events with local magnitudes in the range 1.7–2.3. The source dimensions were found to be 186 ± 36 m and the stress drops between 3 and 66 bar (0.3 and 6.6 MPa), comparable to results obtained in previous studies of shallow events (depths <10 km). The Ensenada swarm could be attributed to a localized zone of high-strain energy at the intersection of two faults. Ratios of P to S corner frequencies were evident for only five events; they were 1.39 ± 0.38. Magnitude and seismic moment from other studies were compared with the Ensenada data in the range of magnitudes 0–3. All the data can be accommodated by log M0 = 1.5 ML + (16.9 ± 1.1). The Ensenada earthquake swarm and the Victoria earthquake swarm, which occurred in the Mexicali valley in 1978, have similar source radii and corner frequencies for the same range of seismic moments.

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