Graphical and analytical techniques for using S-waves in focal mechanism studies are compared. In previous applications the analytical technique has shown little or no agreement with the results of fault-plane solutions from P-waves, whereas for other groups of earthquakes the graphical methods have shown good agreement between the S-waves and the P-wave solutions. It is shown that the graphical and analytical techniques are identical in principle and that when the graphical methods are applied to the same three earthquakes to which the analytical technique had been applied the identical results are obtained.

Closer examination of the graphical presentation of the data, however, shows that the disagreement between the S-waves and the fault plane solutions from P is largely apparent. The discrepancy follows upon the peculiar scatter in the S-wave data and the chance occurrence of observations of S at stations located along closely parallel planes of polarization of S. Once this is understood, it is seen that the direction of polarization of S-waves is in substantial agreement with the methods of analysis of focal mechanisms from P-waves, and that the data are consistent with a simple dipole as the point model of the earthquake focus.

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