A detailed magnitude domain study of the distribution of earthquakes occuring in the Papua-New Guinea-Solomon Islands region between 1959 and 1970 is described. The primary results are as follows:

  1. There is a significant variation in the value of the empirical constant b in the relation log N(m) = a − bm from subregion to subregion, which may be related to the different tectonic characteristics of the subregions. The value of b also appears to decrease with focal depth and exhibits secular variation.

  2. The method of extreme value statistics, as generalized by Epstein and Lomnitz (1966), does not produce reliable estimates of a and b in the region of study.

  3. Some statistics concerning the future occurrence of earthquakes in the region are presented.

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