abstract

The El Golfo earthquake of August 7, 1966 (mb = 6.3, MS = 6.3) occurred near the mouth of the Colorado River at the northern end of the Gulf of California. Synthetic seismograms for this event were computed for both the body waves and the surface waves to determine the source parameters of the earthquake. The body-wave model indicated the source was a right lateral, strike-slip source with a depth of 10 km and a far-field time function 4 sec in duration. The body-wave moment was computed to be 5.0 × 1025 dyne-cm. The surface-wave radiation pattern was found to be consistent with that of the body waves with a surface-wave moment of 6.5 × 1025 dyne-cm. The agreement of the two different moments indicates that the earthquake had a simple source about 4 sec long. A comparison of this earthquake source with the Borrego Mountain and Truckee events demonstrates that all three of these earthquakes behaved as high stress-drop events. El Golfo was shown to be different from the low stress-drop, plate-boundary events which were located on the Gibbs fracture zone in 1967 and 1974.

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