abstract

On March 31, 1978, an earthquake of coda magnitude 3.3 (ML = 3.7 BRK) occurred 5 km off the coast of northern California near Fort Ross. A single foreshock preceded the earthquake and approximately 60 aftershocks followed. Locations based on P- and S-wave arrival times indicate that the earthquakes occurred offshore, west of the San Andreas fault in the vicinity of a fault that is visible on acoustic reflection profiles. All earthquakes had hypocentral depths less than 8 km. A fault-plane solution from P-wave first motions suggests that the focal mechanism of the main shock consisted of nearly equal components of dextral and vertical movement on a plane striking northwest. Other events in this sequence had first-motion patterns strikingly different than the main shock, indicating that more than one type of faulting occurred during the sequence. Seismic moments computed for three aftershocks ranged from 3.8 × 1019 to 1.1 × 1019 dyne-cm.

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