Radiation patterns of the P-wave first motion and S-wave polarization angle of the Dasht-e Bayāz earthquake of August 31, 1968, as well as its principal aftershock which occurred about 20 hours after the main shock are studied. The main shock data are consistent with the observed left-lateral strike-slip fault which accompanied it. The radiation pattern of the aftershock differs somewhat from that of the main shock and agrees with the directions of the secondary faulting in the area.

Several lines of evidence pointing to a multiple source for the main shock are presented. They include complexity of the body phases, low value of the rupture speed as studied from the analysis of the surface wave spectra, reported long duration of shaking and complicated pattern of striations produced by faulting. Energy, moment and stress drop associated with the main shock are estimated. The resulting mean value of stress drop over the faulted surface has a range of 40-100 bars. Based on the age of some well-built structures in the area, it is proposed that no earthquake as severe as the recent one has occurred near the location of the August 31, 1968 earthquake during the last 800 years.

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