Abstract

A series of moderately severe earthquakes occurred in the vicinity of Fairbanks, Alaska, on the morning of June 21, 1967. During the following months, many thousands of aftershocks were recorded in order to outline the aftershock zone and to resolve the focal mechanism and its relation to the regional tectonic system. No fault is visible at the surface in this area.

Foci were found to occupy a relatively small volume in the shape of an ablate cylinder tilted about 30° from the vertical. The center of the zone lay about 12 kilometers southeast of Fairbanks. Focal depths ranged from near-surface to 25 kilometers, although most were in the range 9-16 km. In the course of the investigation, it was found that the Jeffreys and Bullen velocity of 5.56 km/sec for the P wave in the upper crustal layer is very near the true value for this arec, and that the use of 1.69 for the Vp/Vs ratio gives good results in most cases.

The proposed faulting mechanism involves nearly equal components of right-lateral strike slip, and normal faulting with northeast side downthrown on a system of sub-parallel faults striking N40°W. The fault surface appears to be curved—dipping from near vertical close to the surface to less steep northeast dips at greater depths. The relationship of this fault system with the grosser aspects of regional tectonism is not clear.

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