, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 365-381
Date: 30 Jul 2010

Modeling the contemporary stress field and deformation pattern of eastern Mediterranean

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Abstract

The contemporary stress field in the earth’s crust is important and provides insights into mechanisms that drive plate motions. In this study, elastic plane stress finite element modeling incorporating realistic rock parameters was used to calculate the stress field, displacement field, and deformation of the plate interactions in the eastern Mediterranean. Modeled stress data for the African-Arabian-Anatolian plate interactions with fixed European platform correlate well with observed contemporary stress indicator from the world stress map (WSM) and focal mechanism of earthquakes; while displacement field agrees qualitatively well with GPS vectors and sense of motion indicated by focal mechanisms for large crustal earthquakes (M s>6) and plate motion models. Modeling result shows the direction of maximum horizontal compressive stress (σ Hmax) toward the direction of absolute motion of these plates. Large perturbations in σ Hmax orientations are shown to occur in and around tectonic boundaries between those plates. It is observed that, although the African plate acts mostly as indenter, which transmits the collisional motion from the Arabian plate to the Anatolian plate, in the current situation, the far-field stress, probably from the subduction in Aegean Arc, is needed to satisfy the contemporary stress field in Anatolia.