The determination of focal depth and other source parameters by the use of first-motion data and surface-wave spectra is investigated. It is shown that the spectral ratio of Love to Rayleigh waves (L/R) is sensitive to all source parameters. The azimuthal variation of the L/R spectral ratios can be used to check the fault-plane solution as well as for focal depth determinations. Medium response, attenuation, and source finiteness seriously affect the absolute spectra and introduce uncertainty into the focal depth determinations. These effects are nearly canceled out when L/R amplitude ratios are used. Thus, the preferred procedure for source mechanism studies of shallow earthquakes is to use jointly the body-wave data, absolute spectra of surface waves, and the Love/Rayleigh spectral ratios. With this procedure, focal depths can be determined to an accuracy of a few kilometers.

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