Abstract

The 23 November 1984 ML 5.8 Round Valley earthquake is one in a series of moderate (ML ≈ 6) earthquakes to have occurred in the Bishop-Mammoth Lakes, California, area since 1978. This earthquake and its aftershock sequence occurred within a dense seismic network, and hypocentral location quality is excellent. In a previous study, we determined that the Round Valley sequence involved faulting on a conjugate set of fault planes; one, a near-vertical plane striking N30°E, the mainshock fault plane showing principally left-lateral strike-slip motion, and another subperpendicular to the mainshock fault plane striking N40°W and dipping 55°NE, exhibiting dominantly right-lateral strike slip. This conjugate fault plane conforms to a postulated extension of the Hilton Creek fault and is the only significant activity on this structure in the 12-year Bishop-Mammoth Lakes earthquake sequence. Source dimensions and stress drops for 87 aftershocks (ML 2.8 to 4.2) of the Round Valley sequence have been determined using an adaptation of the initial P-wave pulse width time-domain deconvolution technique of Frankel and Kanamori (1983). The aftershock sequence is confined to a limited volume of crust. We have shown that site and instrument effects and not whole-path attenuation control the minimum pulse widths for this limited region. The determination of a site minimum pulse width, rather than a minimum pulse width for each source receiver pair as in the Frankel and Kanamori study, makes the deconvolution procedure practical for processing the large numbers of events in an aftershock sequence. With the large data set available for the Round Valley aftershock sequence, patterns of the stress drop along the active fault planes can be seen in detail. Source radii systematically increase with magnitude from about 100 m for events near magnitude 3.0 to 500 m for events near magnitude 4.0. Static stress drops range from 10 to 200 bars and are not strongly correlated with magnitude or depth. The stress release pattern reveals a broad stress drop low (Δσ ≈ 10 bars) for aftershocks within the mainshock fault plane that is consistent with other evidence of the rupture surface of the Round Valley mainshock. Higher stress release occurs above and below the mainshock rupture surface and on the shallower, conjugate fault plane. Further distant from the rupture surface of the mainshock, stress drops decrease to average values. On the conjugate fault surface, stress drops are seen to be high in areas that may be interpreted as “off-fault” clusters with respect to the mainshock rupture surface.

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