abstract

The Benham nuclear explosion, a 1.1 megaton test 1.4 km beneath Pahute Mesa at the Nevada Test Site, initiated a sequence of earthquakes lasting several months. The epicenters of these shocks were located within 13 km of ground zero in several linear zones that parallel the regional fault trends. Focal depths range from near surface to 6 km. The earthquakes are not located in the zone of the major ground breakage. The earthquake distribution and fault plane solutions together indicate that both right-lateral strike-slip fault movement and dip-slip fault movement occurred. The explosion apparently caused the release of natural tectonic strain.

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