This paper presents a methodology for correcting body-wave magnitudes for the effect of focal mechanism in a routine manner. The method requires a knowledge of the prevailing or dominant mechanism for a geographic region, from which tables are constructed which enable one to make the necessary correction. Included in the paper are tables for Aleutian Island, Kamchatka and mid-Atlantic Ocean earthquakes.

From a study of seven earthquakes, it is concluded that the present method gives essentially the same average magnitude with the same standard deviation as a more exact method of correcting for the focal mechanism. The latter method uses the focal-mechanism parameters of the earthquake, which must be determined independently for each earthquake.

The existing distribution of seismograph stations is such that transform-fault earthquakes of the mid-Atlantic Ocean will consistently have their P-wave magnitudes underestimated by about 0.2 magnitude units, if no correction is made for the focal mechanism. On the other hand, P-wave magnitudes of earthquakes in Kamchatka and south of the axis of the Aleutian Trench will be overestimated by about 0.2 units.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.