The stress field in Australia from composite fault plane solutions of the strongest earthquakes in the continent

Author: Spassov, E.

Source: Journal of Seismology, Volume 2, Number 2, June 1998 , pp. 173-178(6)

Publisher: Springer

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The purpose of this study is to make an estimate of the stress field in the Australian continent from composite fault plane solutions of the strongest events in the area. 21 seismic events with magnitude greater than 5.0 have been chosen from a database of 400 Australian earthquakes since 1902 for performing composite fault plane solutions. The choice is based on the availability of data for first P-wave arrivals. Using data from ISC bulletins we have calculated composite fault plane solutions for six major earthquake zones in the country. An individual fault plane solution for at least one event in each zone has been computed, too. The space distribution of the focal mechanisms confirms a dominant east-west compression stress in the continent, with different tilt in different areas. The main compression axes in the Tennant Creek area (Northern Australia) are with clear north-south direction. The general direction of the plate motion is north-northeast.

Keywords: Australia; composite fault plane solution; stress field

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia

Publication date: June 1, 1998

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