Ridge forces, absolute plate motions, and the intraplate stress field

R. M. Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

205 Scopus citations


Torque poles are calculated for a variety of possible forces acting on the plates, including ridge push, slab pull, and collisional resistance. These torque poles are then compared to the directions of absolute plate motions. There is a strong correlation between ridge torque poles and the azimuth of absolute plate motions for the North American, South American, Pacific, Cocos, and Eurasian plates. Simple slab pull torques correlate well with absolute motion azimuths for the Pacific, Nazca, and Cocos plates and moderately well with the absolute motion azimuth of the Indo-Australian plate. Collisional resistance torque poles correlate with the absolute motion azimuth of the Eurasian plate only. The correlations are presented as further evidence that the absolute reference frame for plate motion is determined by the surface plates themselves. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11,739-11,748
JournalJournal of geophysical research
Issue numberB8
StatePublished - 1992

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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