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