abstract

The epicenter of the Texas earthquake of August 16, 1931 has been relocated instrumentally much closer to the area of maximum seismic intensities near Valentine, Texas. Regional and local teleseismic P-wave arrival time anomalies observed for the nearby Gnome underground nuclear explosion of 1961 are used to determine station corrections and thus to locate the new epicenter at 30.69°N, 104.57°W. This epicenter lies in a diffuse, elongated area of seismicity detected by a local seismograph network installed in 1976. The present seismic activity indicates a fault striking N50°W. A new analysis of the first-motion data reported in 1931 suggests that the Texas earthquake occurred on a strike-slip fault with right-lateral displacement and with the tension axis oriented S74°W. Several estimates of magnitude (mb) based on intensity data range from 5.6 to 6.4.

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