Earthquakes with Non—Double-Couple Mechanisms

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Science  06 May 1994:
Vol. 264, Issue 5160, pp. 804-809
DOI: 10.1126/science.264.5160.804


Seismological observations confirm that the pattern of seismic waves from some earthquakes cannot be produced by slip along a planar fault surface. More than one physical mechanism is required to explain the observed varieties of these non—double-couple earthquakes. The simplest explanation is that some earthquakes are complex, with stress released on two or more suitably oriented, nonparallel fault surfaces. However, some shallow earthquakes in volcanic and geothermal areas require other explanations. Current research focuses on whether fault complexity explains most observed non—double-couple earthquakes and to what extent ordinary earthquakes have non—double-couple components.

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