North American plate dynamics

R. M. Richardson, L. M. Reding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Deformation within the North American plate in response to various tectonic processes is modeled using an elastic finite element analysis. A coarse grid contains 328 elements and 190 nodes, while a fine grid contains 718 elements and 396 nodes for a spatial resolution of 2°-3°. Information about the present-day state of intraplate stress constrains the modeling. Distributed ridge forces of magnitude 2×1012 N/m predict deviatoric stresses of the order of 20-40 MPa that are capable of accounting for the dominant observed ENE stress trend. Driving drag models also fit the trend but are not preferred because of a predicted tenfold increase in compressive stress magnitudes from east to west across the plate. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12,201-12,223
JournalJournal of geophysical research
Issue numberB7
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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