The Port Hueneme earthquake of March 18, 1957, was the first recorded strong-motion earthquake for which the ground motion consisted essentially of a single pulse. Since all the energy of the earthquake was concentrated in one pulse, the ground accelerations and the response spectrum values were considerably larger than for more typical Pacific Coast earthquakes of equivalent magnitude. These abnormally high values are reflected in damage reports, which indicated an unusual amount of damage for a shock of magnitude 4.7.

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