Abstract

The 16 December 1954 Dixie Valley (MS 6.8) earthquake followed the Fairview Peak (MS 7.2) earthquake by only 4 min and 20 sec. A three-dimensional model of the two dip-slip fault systems based on recent detailed field studies shows the ruptures were separated by a 6-km step in surface trace. A boundary-element approach shows that the static stress changes imposed by rupture of the Fairview Peak earthquake are in the correct sense to explain the northward propagation of faulting along four distinct faults that comprise the Fairview Peak earthquake and the subsequent triggering of the Dixie Valley earthquake. The location of rupture end points at sites where static stresses change sign is also used to suggest that static stress changes may play a role in controlling the extent of fault ruptures. We also observe that the largest coseismic surface displacements tend to correlate with those sections of the faults showing the largest positive stress change from preceding ruptures.

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