A reassessment of the deep Fiji earthquake of 26 May 1932

Emile A. Okal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The 1932 deep Fiji earthquake is studied from the point of view of comparing it to the recent large events in the transition zone. Spectral analysis and body-wave modeling suggest a moment of 3.4 × 1027 dyncm (within a multiplicative or divisive factor of 1.5), which makes it comparable to, but not significantly larger than, the great 1994 earthquake, 770 km to the north. Its seismic moment remains well below that of the largest deep shocks (1994 in Bolivia or 1970 in Colombia). Relocation efforts show that the earthquake took place on the front edge of the Wadati-Benioff Zone, in an area where the latter features a complex geometry involving significant warping. The mechanism of the earthquake involves down-dip compression and can be readily explained in terms of the prevailing large-scale stresses in the slabs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-329
Number of pages17
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 20 1997


  • Deep earthquakes
  • Earthquake sources
  • Historical seismicity
  • Tonga-Fiji Benioff Zone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth-Surface Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'A reassessment of the deep Fiji earthquake of 26 May 1932'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this