The depth of the deepest historical earthquakes

Beth A. Rees*, Emile A. Okal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We use P and S times listed in the International Seismological Summary to relocate 23 historical earthquakes (1927-1963) reported as occurring at or below 670 km. In all cases, our relocated hypocenters are shallower than the starting depths; furthermore, all events converge to 691 km or less, with a precision estimated at ±10 km. This study upholds the results of Stark and Frohlich, who had used pP-P times of post-WWSSN earthquakes to constrain reliable hypocentral depths to no greater than 684 km. In particular, we reject Rothé's claim that a 1963 event in the vicinity of New Guinea occurred at a depth of more than 780 km.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-715
Number of pages17
JournalPure and Applied Geophysics PAGEOPH
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 1987


  • Benioff zones
  • Seismicity
  • historical earthquakes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


Dive into the research topics of 'The depth of the deepest historical earthquakes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this