We analyze source characteristics of the 14 September 1995, Copala, Mexico, earthquake (M = 7.3) using teleseismic, regional, and local seismograms. In the analysis of the teleseismic and the regional seismic waves, we apply the empirical Green's function (EGF) technique. The recording of an appropriate aftershock is taken as the EGF and is used to deconvolve the mainshock seismogram, thus obtaining an apparent far-field source-time function at each station. The deconvolution has been done using surface waves. For teleseismic data, we apply a spectral deconvolution method that enables us to obtain 37 apparent source-time functions (ASTFs) at 29 stations. In the analysis of the regional broadband seismograms, we use two different aftershocks as EGF, and the deconvolution is performed in the time domain with a nonlinear method, imposing a positivity constraint, and the best azimuth for the directivity vector is obtained through a grid-search approach.

We also analyze two near-source accelerograms. The traces are inverted for the slip distribution over the fault plane by applying a linear inversion technique. With the aid of a time-window analysis, we obtain an independent estimation of the source-time function and a more detailed description of the source process.

The analysis of the three datasets permits us to deduce the main characteristics of the source process. The rupture initiated at a depth of 16 km and propagated in two directions: updip along the plate interface toward 165° N and toward 70° N. The source duration was between 12 and 14 sec, with the maximum of energy release occurring 8 sec after the initiation of the rupture. The estimated rupture dimension of 35 × 45 km is about one-fourth of the aftershock area. The average dislocation over the fault was 1.4 m (with a maximum dislocation of 4.1 m located 10 km south of the hypocenter), which gives roughly 1 MPa as the average static stress drop.

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