In 1954, four earthquakes of M > 6.0 occurred within a 30 km radius in a period of six months. The Rainbow Mountain-Fairview Peak-Dixie Valley earthquakes are among the largest to have been recorded geodetically in the Basin and Range province. The Fairview Peak earthquake (M=7.2, December 12, 1954) followed two events in the Rainbow Mountains (M=6.2, July 6, and M=6.5, August 24, 1954) by 6 months. Four minutes later the Dixie Valley fault ruptured (M=6.7, December 12, 1954). The changes in static stresses caused by the events are calculated using the Coulomb-Navier failure criterion and assuming uniform slip on rectangular dislocations embedded in an elastic half-space. Coulomb stress changes are resolved on optimally oriented faults and on each of the faults that ruptured in the chain of events. These calculations show that each earthquake in the Rainbow Mountain-Fairview Peak-Dixie Valley sequence was preceded by a static stress change that encouraged failure. The magnitude of the stress increases transferred from one earthquake to another ranged from 0.01 MPa (0.1 bar) to over 0.1 MPa (1 bar). Stresses were reduced by up to 0.1 MPa over most of the Rainbow Mountain-Fairview Peak area as a result of the earthquake sequence. Copyright 1996 by the American Geophysical Union.
Additional publication details
The 1954 Rainbow Mountain-Fairview Peak-Dixie Valley earthquakes: A triggered normal faulting sequence