The source mechanism of the Hindu Kush earthquake of July 6, 1962 (magnitude 634-7, focal depth 218 km) was studied by comparing the observed amplitude and phase radiation patterns of mantle Rayleigh waves of 150 sec and 200 sec period with theoretical radiation patterns of Rayleigh waves from single- and double-couple point sources, and by considering evidence from Love waves and the shape of P and S pulses. The solution for the source mechanism, which is consistent with all the body wave and surface wave data available for this earthquake, is a double couple acting as a step function in time, with nodal planes oriented as determined from P wave data. Since for waves with periods greater than about 5 sec, the source appears to be an ideal point source, the radius of the equivalent source volume is estimated to be less than 10 km. For Rayleigh waves of 150 sec period, the agreement between observed and theoretical phases (for the above source model) is greatly improved by assuming regional phase velocities instead of a uniform phase velocity for all areas. It is concluded that with the accuracy currently attainable, a study of Rayleigh waves alone cannot determine the source mechanism of an earthquake uniquely.

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