Tectonic stress: models and magnitudes.

S. C. Solomon, R. M. Richardson, E. A. Bergman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The combination of plate tectonic models of intraplate stress and observations of the directions of principal midplate stresses provides two types of constraints on the magnitude of deviatoric stress in the lithosphere. First, the fit of global tectonic stress models to observations can constrain stress magnitudes if the magnitude of one of the component driving forces can be independently estimated. Second, if in the vicinity of a calculable local source of stress the observations of stress orientations indicate comparable control by the local and regional stress field, then the magnitude of the regional field may be estimated. Global intraplate stress models have been calculated using a finite element technique for a wide variety of possible driving force combinations. The best fitting global stress models include ridge pushing forces as an essential element and have deviatoric stress magnitudes comparable to the horizontal compressive stress exerted by ridge elevation, estimated on independent grounds to be 200-300 bar. Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6086-6092
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of geophysical research
Issue numberB11
StatePublished - 1980

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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