The southeastern Missouri earthquake of October 21, 1965 generated fundamental- and higher-mode Love and Rayleigh waves which were recorded at numerous North American stations. Love-wave amplitude radiation patterns were determined and found to be consistent with theoretical patterns predicted by a fault-plane solution previously inferred from Rayleigh-wave data.

The radiation patterns were used to estimate the source spectrum and values for Love-wave attenuation coefficients for the mid-continent of North America by a least-squares iterative process. The source spectrum derived from Love-wave amplitudes exhibits a peak at periods between 5 and 9 sec and decreases to a lower DC level at longer periods, in agreement with the source spectrum determined previously for Rayleigh waves. The Love-wave attenuation coefficients decrease rapidly from about 0.0018 km−1 at a period of 4 sec to about 0.0001 km−1 at a period of 20 sec. At periods between 20 and 40 sec the values seem to remain nearly constant.

The crust in the mid-continent of North America is characterized by relatively low Qβ values, 75 to 300, in its upper portion. At depths between 15 and 20 km, Qβ increases sharply and decreases again at greater depths. The decrease can be explained as being due to increasing temperature in a homogeneous material, but the sharp increase requires a change in the chemical constitution of the material at mid-crustal depths.

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