Abstract

Six portable seismographs were operated for 30 days in a network centered 25 km south of the epicenter of the 1954 Fairview Peak earthquake. The recording period lasted from 15 days before to 15 days after detonation of the one-megaton BENHAM underground nuclear explosion 250 km to the southeast of the Nevada Test Site on December 19, 1968. Approximately 950 earthquakes were detected within about 30 km of the network. No evidence was found that the explosion affected the rate of earthquake occurrence. Locations were computed for 152 earthquakes. The epicentral pattern shows north and northeast trends about 1 to 3 km wide. Focal depths range from 5 to 14 km. The main zones of activity seem to have a near-vertical orientation. Composite fault-plane solutions suggest that faulting within zones is not consistent with a single focal mechanism. Instead, a variety of mechanisms is indicated, consisting primarily of north-striking right-lateral oblique-slip, and northeast-striking dip-slip movements. In both cases, the pressure axis is near vertical and the tension axis is near horizontal, striking about S60°E.

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