An investigation of ground motion, recorded using broad-band, wide dynamic-range digital seismographs, of large mine tremors from two South African mining districts with different geologic settings, reveals some essential differences in both seismic source and ground motion parameters. In the Klerksdorp district where the strata are offset by major throughgoing normal faults, the largest tremors, with magnitudes ranging as high as 5.2, tend to be associated with slip on these pre-existing faults. Moreover, the seismic source and ground motion parameters are quite similar to those of natural crustal earthquakes. In the Carletonville district, by contrast, where substantial faults do not exist, the large-magnitude tremors appear to result from the failure of relatively intact rock and cause seismic stress drops and ground motion parameters higher than normally observed for natural shocks. Additionally, there appears to be an upper magnitude limit of about 4 in the Carletonville district. Detailed analyses of an exceptionally large event recorded locally from each of these districts serve to highlight these contrasts. ?? 1989 Birkha??user Verlag.
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Analysis of exceptionally large tremors in two gold mining districts of South Africa