An aftershock survey, using a network of eight portable and two permanent seismographs, was conducted for the western Argentina (Caucete) earthquake (MS 7.3) of November 23, 1977. Monitoring began December 6, almost 2 weeks after the main shock and continued for 11 days. The data set includes 185 aftershock hypocenters that range in the depth from near surface to more than 30 km. The spatial distribution of those events occupied a volume of about 100 km long ??50 km wide ??30 km thick. The volumnar nature of the aftershock distribution is interpreted to be a result of a bimodal distribution of foci that define east- and west-dipping planar zones. Efforts to select which of those zones was associated with the causal faulting include special attention to the determination of the mainshock focal depth and dislocation theory modeling of the coseismic surface deformation in the epicentral region. Our focal depth (25-35 km) and modeling studies lead us to prefer an east-dipping plane as causal. A previous interpretation by other investigators used a shallower focal depth (17 km) and similar modeling calculations in choosing a west-dipping plane. Our selection of the east-dipping plane is physically more appealing because it places fault initiation at the base of the crustal seismogenic layer (rather than in the middle of that layer) which requires fault propagation to be updip (rather than downdip). ?? 1988.
Additional Publication Details
Aftershocks of the western Argentina (Caucete) earthquake of 23 November 1977: some tectonic implications