Five ocean bottom seismometers recorded seismicity near the Mid-America Trench offshore Guatemala for 27 days in 1979. The array was emplaced in the lower slope region, just above the topographic trench. Approximately 170 events were recorded by 3 or more seismometers, and almost half were located with statistical hypocentral errors of <10 km. Most epicenters were located immediately landward of the trench axis, and many were further confined to a zone NW of the array. In terms of depth, most events were located within the subducting Cocos plate rather than in the overlying plate or at the plate-plate boundary. Most magnitudes ranged between 3.0 and 4.0 mb, and the threshold magnitude of locatable events was about 2.8 mb. Two distinct composite focal mechanisms were determined. One appears to indicate high- angle reverse faulting in the subducting plate, in a plane parallel to trench axis strike. The other, constructed for some earthquakes in the zone NW of the array, seems to show normal faulting along possible fault planes oriented quasi-perpendicular to the trench axis. Projection of our seismicity sample and of well-located WWSSN events from 1954 to 1980 onto a plane perpendicular to the trench axis shows a distinct gap between the shallow seismicity located by our array, and the deeper Wadati-Benioff zone seismicity located by the WWSSN. We tentatively ascribe this gap to inadequate sampling.-from Authors
Additional publication details
An ocean bottom seismometer study of shallow seismicity near the Mid- America Trench offshore Guatemala ( Pacific).